India’s millet exports to the UAE can expect a boost in numbers after retail giant Lulu Hypermarket LLC and the Indian government agency Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the World Trade Centre in Dubai on Tuesday.
The agreement is one of the highlights of the Gulfood 2023, the world’s largest annual food exhibition. The UAE is third-biggest importer of Indian products. India is promoting its range of wheat, rice, maize and many millet-related products as it observes 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
The MoU comes on the back of the CEPA agreement between the two countries, signed and improving by the day, to facilitate trade. Dr Tarun Bajaj, director at APEDA, and Saleem VI, chief operating officer of LuLu Group International (LLC) signed the MoU in the presence of the Ambassador of India Sunjay Sudhir, the APEDA chairman Dr M Angamuthu, Indian consul-general in Dubai Dr Aman Puri; and Lulu chairman MA Yusuff Ali.
India has exported millets worth US$46.05 million during April-November 2022. The new MoU will help Apeda reach the target of US$ 100 million for export of millets and its value-added products by 2025.
The LuLu Group International is a retail chain that operates 247 Lulu stores and 24 shopping malls across the GCC, Egypt, India and Far East. LuLu Group serves 1.2 million customers daily.
This year, the international trade show is focussing on export promotion of millets with trading partners from GCC, Asia, Africa and Europe participating in the event. A buyer-seller meet was also organised in the India Pavilion.
Apeda, which comes under the Ministry of Commerce of Government of India, is participating in 16 International Trade Fairs for export promotion of millets. The millets will be sourced from FPOs, FPCs, women and new entrepreneurs, start-ups, etc.