The Karnataka government will hold an international trade fair on organics and millets on January 18-20, 2019 in Bengaluru to promote them in a big way, a state minister said on Friday.
"The three-day fair will pitch Karnataka as the source of organic produce and millets, which are the next-generation smart foods," said Agriculture Minister N.H. Shivashankara Reddy at a preview of the event here.
The second edition of the annual event at the Bangalore Palace grounds in the city centre will showcase a variety of organic products and millets at the exhibition and offer a flavour of their dishes in the food court at the venue.
"As the largest gathering of the stakeholders, the fair will position Karnataka as the country's millets capital and promote them as the best food for all," asserted Reddy on the occasion.
The state government will hold roadshows at Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, New Delhi and Pune in Maharashtra for greater awareness and participation by the stakeholders.
Roadshows will also be held overseas to invite foreign delegates, buyers, food processors and experts to the event. Mini-fairs will also be held in districts across the state to attract visitors to the trade expo-cum-conference.
About 250 exhibitors will display the foodgrain products for greater awareness of their nutritional values and health benefits.
Farmers, sellers, buyers and exporters of organic produce and millets from across the state and country will participate in the fair to interact, network and exchange information on the cereals,
Farmer-producer organisations and farmer federations from the southern state and the International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture will be the knowledge partners for the trade fair.
"We hope the fair will make more people turn to organics and millets as part of their daily diet and reap their health benefits," added Reddy.
State Agriculture Department Principal Secretary Maheshwar Rao said the area under cultivation of organics and millets had grown to 1-lakh hectares in 2018 from 2,50,000 hectares over a decade ago.
"Karnataka is the first state to promote organic farming with a sound policy and a holistic approach since 2004. A revised policy in 2017 has given thrust to marketing the cereals with the involvement of organic farmers associations across the state," recalled Rao at the preview of the fair.