Sri Rapthadu Mandala Raithu Utpatti Darula MACS, a farmer producer company based in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh, supported by Samunnati and eFresh, received IndGAP certification for foxtail millet. This feat by a farmer producer company in India assumes great importance particularly, in this International Year of Millets (IYoM 2023), under the ambitious ‘Make in India’ initiative by the government of India to ensure Indian millets have access to global markets.
Speaking on the FPC on receiving the certification, Anil Kumar SG, Founder & CEO, Samunnati said, “Adoption of GAP verified by a robust certification will enhance value realisation by farmers and make India globally competitive in agri exports. This is why Samunnati spearheaded the promotion of IndGAP standards with eFresh, an expert body on global food safety standards. We are extremely pleased that Sri Rapthadu Mandala Raithu Utpatti Darula MACS in Andhra Pradesh supported by us has obtained IndGAP certification for foxtail millet, which is a big achievement. This achievement needs to reach all the FPOs across India covering all major crops and commodities. It is heartening to see our efforts are bearing fruits and paving the way to make India the “Millet bowl of the world” in the near future, facilitate export and increase income to the farmers.”
Murali, CEO of Action Fraternity, which supported the FPC in obtaining the certification said, “We feel very happy and privileged to get the IndGAP certification as we aspire to become one of the reliable and reputed suppliers of millets to the global markets. We are grateful to Samunnati and eFresh Agribusiness Solutions for their enormous all-around support and to the government for taking proactive efforts to create more markets for Indian millets globally under the International Year of Millets 2023 initiative.”
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As the largest producer of millets in the world, India exported millet products worth USD 34.32 million during the fiscal year 2021-22, which is relatively small, due to higher domestic demand. With the growing global demand for healthy and sustainable food options, there is potential for India to increase its exports of millet products in the coming years. To achieve this, the Indian government under the flagship initiative IYoM 2023 aims to promote the production, processing, and marketing of millets both domestically and internationally.
Speaking on the occasion, Srihari Kotela, Managing Director, eFresh Agri Business Solutions, said “It gives us great satisfaction to see the first farmer producer company in India getting certified to IndGAP for foxtail millet production conforming to international standard ISO 17065. This is a great step in the right direction to facilitate increased exports and enhanced income, particularly, for millet farmers, the majority of whom are smallholders.”
Why IndGAP certification for millets?
Certification schemes like IndGAP are designed to help Indian farmers and exporters meet global food safety standards, which is essential for accessing global markets. IndGAP certification is recognised as a credible and reliable certification programme in India, and it is currently being benchmarked against global standards like GlobalGAP to further enhance its recognition and credibility in the international market covering 120 countries.
By obtaining IndGAP certification, Indian farmers and exporters can demonstrate their compliance with international food safety standards, which can help increase their access to global markets. IndGAP certification also provides a framework for continuous improvement in farming practices, which can help improve the quality and safety of agricultural produce over time and will strive towards UN Sustained Development Goals.
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“We aim to get at least 100 FPOs certified under IndGAP in the near future. By becoming IndGAP certified, FPOs can demonstrate their commitment to producing safe and high-quality products, which can increase their marketability and access to better-paying markets. Samunnati continues to engage with the FPOs providing holistic support to make them commercially viable,” added Anil.
Helping farmer producer companies meet the stringent quality criteria and requirements to conform to IndGAP certification can lead to better value realisation, export facilitation and increased profits for farmers. By participating in certified supply chains, smallholder farmers can gain access to global market opportunities. In addition, wider adoption IndGAP certification can enhance India’s reputation as a reliable and responsible supplier of agricultural products. Overall, promoting IndGAP certification can have a win-win outcome for both smallholder farmers and India’s agriculture sector.
Two core activities were involved in the process of obtaining IndGAP certification for foxtail millet, the first and most important one – is implementation at the farm and FPO level (95 per cent of total activity), facilitated by Samunnati and eFresh, which is followed by assessment (5 per cent of total activity) by an accredited certification body. The assessment for IndGAP certification was carried out by TQ Cert Services, a subsidiary of TATA Projects, an independent accredited inspection body by Quality Council of India.