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New initiatives to boost export of seeds and sorghum products from Telangana, India

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Mr Srinivas Reddy and Dr Bergvinson.
Photo: PS Rao, ICRISAT

To help smallholder farmers get good returns from agriculture and also help them access quality seeds the government of the Indian state of Telangana will set up a Seed Export Accelerator and a Sorghum Export Development Platform.

Strategies to boost the export of sorghum, sorghum products and seeds from India were deliberated at the two-day consultative meeting on ‘Enhancing exports of sorghum and seeds from India’ organized by the ICRISAT Agri-Business Incubation Program.

Speaking on the occasion the Minister for Agriculture, Cooperation and Horticulture, Telangana State, Mr Pocharam Srinivas Reddy said, “The Government of Telangana is committed to encouraging the setting up of a Seed Export Accelerator and Sorghum Export Development Platform.

This initiative will help farmers have greater access to quality seeds and will also improve their financial condition.”

Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT said, “We want to create economic opportunities and increase the nutritional status of the farmers of Telangana. It is not just about achieving better nutrition but also improving the returns and profits for farmers.”

The panel discussions centered around export opportunities for sorghum food products, commodity trading, sorghum-based feed industry, sorghum consumer and industrial products technology, challenges and opportunities in the export market, and market development of new seeds, among other issues.

Mr RK Boyal, Director, Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) stressed on the “need to work on strategies that contribute to increasing the export of value-added sorghum products so that smallholder farmers may derive good returns.”

The Seed Export Accelerator will work with farmer producer organizations, multinational corporations, and small and medium enterprises to provide key services such as access to new hybrids/varieties of seeds, market and policy information, export market linkages, financial assistance and quality control. It will strengthen the Seed Export Promotion Zones and establish testing and certification facilities in conformity with international standards.

The consultative meeting was organized by ICRISAT and APEDA on 17-18 March at ICRISAT-India. It was attended by over 100 participants from the public and private sectors, exporters, R&D organizations, government officials and representatives from the seed industry (Pioneer, Bioseed, Ganga Kaveri Seeds) and food processing industry (Karachi Bakery, MTR Foods, and Frumer Marketing).