Organics and Millets 2018 International Millet Fair Concludes on a High!

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107 crore business generated over the three-day International Trade Fair – Organics and Millets 2018.
Bengaluru: The International Trade Fair (ITF) 2018 came to a close on Sunday. The three-day fair themed around ‘Organics and Millets’ was a huge success with a footfall of over 2.10 lakh. The fair was the perfect platform to connect local farmers with national and international markets and consumers under one roof. The follow-up to last year’s National Trade Fair, ITF 2018, delivered concrete results to improve the conditions of farmers while also educating them on trade secrets and techniques to bolster growth and yield of millets and organic food crops. ITF 2018 generated a total business of 107 crore including LoIs worth 27.69 crore. The fair also established long term commitments of 340 crore for the next 3 years.

ITF was organized by the Dept. of Agriculture, Govt. of Karnataka with KAPPEC as co-organizer and ICCOA as the knowledge partner. Inaugurated on Friday by Shri. Siddaramaiah, Chief Minister (GoK) in the presence of Shri. Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister of Agriculture (GoK), and Shri. Sadanand Gowda, Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation (GoI) who declared 2018 as “The Year of Millets”, the dias also included several prominent figures from the Central and State govt., Ms. Laura, CEO of Organic Trade Association USA, Mr. Zhou Zhejiang, IFOAM Asia President and Ms. Jennifer Chang IFOAM Asia Vice-President.

Sharing his view on the millet mela chief minister Siddaramaiah said “It is important for us to raise awareness and promote millets in daily diets due to its nutritional value and ease of cultivation. We are a dry agriculture state and over the last 17 years, only 3 have had no draught. We are very excited to be taking this step and we hope to make millets part of the daily diet again.”

India stands in pole position to lead the world in millet production and exports with the Karnataka Govt. at the forefront of promoting and consuming these next-gen smart foods. ITF promoted not just millets but also organic and sustainable agricultural practices. Shri. Krishna Byregowda had this to add: “Today we are conscious about the food we eat, its nutritional value, the impact on farmers and the environment to get food from farm to fork.With this conference, we hope to bring about a change in dietary habits and promote a more sustainable future”

ITF had a 3,500sq ft exhibition area which had 357 stalls featuring national and international companies along with state govts. in the organic agribusiness. International participants such as JRMT Global General Trading LLC from Dubai, FiBL from Switzerland, IFOAM Asia from South Korea along with buyers from USA, Germany, Uganda, China and Malaysia took part in the event. State Partners included Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Chhattisgarh. The event also featured renowned players from the private sector such as Phalada Agro Research Foundations Pvt. Ltd, Sresta Natural BioProducts Pvt. Ltd, Big Basket, ITC Ltd, Nature Bio-Foods Pvt Ltd, MRT Organic Green Products, Mehrotra Consumer Products P Ltd, Radico, Terra Firma Projects Pvt. Ltd., Mother India Organics and Naturals Pvt. Ltd., Akshayakalpa Farms & Foods Pvt Limited, Pro Nature Organic Foods (P) Ltd, Big Basket, Pristine Organics, Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited, Dhatu Organics and Natural Pvt. Ltd, Naturobell, Kottaram Agro Foods Pvt Ltd (to name a few).

A special farmers’ workshop was organized in Kannada where over 5,000 farmers showed up and were taught farming techniques by experts in organic production. ITF benefited the farmers the most as they became aware of multiple facets and conditions required within the organic production space. The workshop explained Organic Market trends, demands, Organic Certification process and importance, export potentials and more which greatly helped farmers understand the technical and commercial side of organic agribusiness.

A 30,000sq ft organic food court, ‘Khandavi’ was organized on all three days of the event which played host to the “Food and Nutritional Forum” where conferences, competitions, workshops, demonstrative sessions and group discussions were held on organics and millets. ‘Khandavi’ also hosted nearly 25 restaurant outlets selling foods made from organics and millets.The Organic Food Court offered visitors a chance to indulge their taste buds in a pure organic and millet diet which was well received by all attendees.  Some of the renowned food court partners are Green Path, Dhatu, Bhoomika Millet Foods, Naturobell, Grameena Kutumba, Mother India farms, etc.

ITF hosted multiple international conferences in the two halls on all three days of the fair. The themes and discussions included: Nutri-Cereals – Good for Farmers, Environment and Consumers; Organics and Millets – Enhancing Farmers’ Income through Organic Marketing; Organic 3/0 – Organic Policy and its implementation; other topics R&D. supply chain, business, investment upscaling and awareness pertaining to millets were also included in the conferences. The conferences featured 32 eminent international speakers and 46 prominent national speakers. The conference brought together farmers, startups in the organic agriculture space, farmer federations and other bodies in the agriproducts ecosystem. Over 500 delegates were present at these conferences which acted as a unique knowledge spreading and learning platform by creating panels that included all the organic stakeholders, policy makers, government and non-government players.

The opening session of the conference was on the theme: “Enhancing Farmers Income through efficient marketing of Organic products and millets. The session was held on Friday chaired by Director-General ICRISAT in the presence of Shri. Krishna Byregowda, Minister of Agriculture (GoK); Shri. Sompal Shastri, Former Union Agriculture Minister; and Dr. Zhou Zhejiang, President IFOAM Asia.

Other prominent sessions included: ‘Organic 3.0’ which focussed on bringing organic food products out of the current niche and into the mainstream market; ‘Global Organic Markets’ presided by APEDA which deliberated strategies for increasing India’s exports of organic products; ‘Organic Research’ conducted by FiBL, Switzerland(World’s Leading Research Institute for Organic Agriculture) covering the current status of Organic Research and results of the experimental system comparison trials on organic production.

A separate area hosted all the B2B meetings. Over 15 international buyers and trade association (USA, Canada, South Korea, China, UAE, Malaysia, Switzerland, Uganda to name a few) and 50 domestic buyers took part in the meeting with suppliers and organic farmer federations. The total business generated from the B2B meetings was worth 27.69 crore.

The event also hosted the first-of-its-kind award ceremony in the field of sustainable and organic agriculture named ‘Jaivik Awards.’ ICCOA in order to encourage organic stakeholders towards the growth of organic farming, promotion and business organized the first annual Jaivik Awards. A total of 21 awards were given for outstanding achievements across multiple categories to farmers, farmer organizations, state agencies and private organisations who have excelled in organic cultivation selected by a jury of prominent professionals from the industry.
Key Details
Exhibit- 391 stalls with over 270 exhibitors showcasing their produce/products

Footfall – 2.10 lakh

Total Business Generated – At the B2B area suppliers and buyers signed LoIs worth 27.69 crore. Total business generated across the event was 106.89 crores.

Biggest Takeaways – India’s first International Trade Fair on Organics and Millets, India’s first Organic Agriculture Awards, Organic Awareness Programs, Farmers’ Workshop

Releases at Event –

1. Millet Recipe Book

2. The Watershed Development Department: Coffee Table Book, the journey of watershed department and sustainable water management

3. History of Millet: The Origin of Millet by IIMR, Hyderabad

4. Millet Calendar

5. Agri Doctor’s Diary by Agriculture Graduate Association

6. Exhibitors Catalog

7. E-Portal: an interactive resource portal (Statues of Karnataka)

Letter of intent Signed – 34 between Farmer Federation and entrepreneurs worth 27.69 crore.

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