For promotions and production of millets, the Indian government is working towards making India a global hub of Shree Anna. Shree Anna is another term for millets that was used by the finance minister and includes a variety of grains like Jowar, Ragi, Bajra, Srikut, Ramdana, Kangni, Kutki, Kodo, Cheena, and Sama. Millets are a group of small-seeded grasses that are cultivated and consumed as a staple food. The global market for millets is relatively small compared to other cereal crops such as wheat, rice, and corn. However, millets are gaining popularity due to their nutritional value, gluten-free nature, and ability to grow in poor soil and under low rainfall conditions.
Millets Given Importance In The Agriculture Budget 2023
India is the largest producer and consumer of millet, followed by Africa and China. Millets are mainly used for human consumption, but they are also used for animal feed, biofuels, and brewing. The market for millet is driven by factors such as rising demand for gluten-free food, increasing health consciousness, and government initiatives to promote millet cultivation.
In this agriculture budget, it was announced that the government would turn the Indian Institute of Millet Research, Hyderabad into a center of excellence to foster millet innovation.
This step by the Indian government would further enable numerous FMCG brands to work with millets and bring forth innovation. FMCG majors, including Britannia, Hindustan Unilever, ITC, Tata Soulfull, and Nestle, are betting big on value-added millet products, in sync with the worldwide push to Shree Anna.
In an effort to mainstream millets like jowar, bajra, and ragi, these companies have already introduced a clutch of products like muesli, granola, upma, poha, noodles, and dosa mixes in the local and export markets. And the product baskets are getting larger.
Agriculture Stocks to watch out for
Hindustan Unilever Ltd: HUL is a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company. The company’s portfolio includes various brands across categories such as home care, personal care, foods and beverages, and water purification. HUL has introduced several products focusing on millet.
ITC Ltd: ITC Ltd is a diversified company headquartered in India that operates in various sectors such as fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), hotels, paperboards and specialty papers, agri-business, and information technology. In the FMCG sector, the company offers products such as cigarettes, packaged food, personal care, and education and stationery products. The company has launched several millet-based products under its brand “Bingo! Starters” such as chips and puffs, and under its brand “Aashirvaad” such as flours, instant mixes, and breakfast cereals.
Tata Consumer Products Ltd: The company primarily operates in two segments: Beverages and Foods. In the Beverages segment, it offers products such as tea, coffee, and water. In the food segment, the company offers products such as pulses, spices, snacks, and ready-to-eat meals. The company has a strong presence in India and also exports its products to several countries across the world. Tata Soulfull, the brand of subsidiary Tata Consumer Soulfull, was launched in 2013. It operates in the Health & Wellness focused food segment with a portfolio of millet-based products for children and adults.
Godrej Agrovet Ltd: Godrej Agrovet operates in various segments, such as animal feed, crop protection, oil palm, dairy, poultry, and processed foods. The company is also involved in manufacturing and supplying a quality-assured spectrum of Pearl Millet (Bajra) in Erode, Tamil Nadu, India.
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– Debraj Guha Thakurta & Nischay Avichal