Export of organic products from India to treble by 2020

Export of Organic Products from India to Treble by 2020

Posted on Posted in Vegetables

Good news for organic lovers! India plans to export organic food and non-food products three times by 2020. Vegetables exporters in India are expected to make the most of this opportunity.

During 2015-16, India produced approximately 1.35 million tonnes of certified organic (it included several food varieties) products. Of this, 263,678 tonnes of food, worth $298 million was exported according to Agricultural & Processed Food Product Export Development Authority (Apeda). The increase in export was made possible due to the relaxation of quota limits by the government.

According to Manoj Menon, executive director of Indian Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture, a Bangalore based network,” The strict restrictions imposed by the government were a step to ensure food security in India. However, it only discouraged the farmers from working on organic products. Therefore, we requested the government to go slightly easy on the restrictions.”

The network also believes that the overall organic market can hit Rs.10,000 crore to Rs.12,000 crore by 2020 through export as against the current Rs.4000.

While the annual quantitative ceiling for export on lentils and pulses was increased from 10,000 tonnes to 50,000 tonnes those on organic wheat, edible oils, sugar and non-basmati rice have been exempted completely. Most of the organic food is exported to Canada, Europe and West Asia.

A senior industry officer said,” Farmers hesitate to switch to organic farming as they feel it will generate low produce compared to hybrid or conventional farming and thus lower their income. Also, organic farming does not make use of chemicals and fertilizers and the only way to gain compensation is through premiums on their produce. Indian organic products such as tea, pulses and vegetables have a good demand abroad and fetch a very good price compared to conventional and hybrid products.”

America is the biggest player in the organic market and holds 50 percent of the market share worth $80 billion. In 2015-16, the total area in India under organic certification was 5.71 million hectares. Of which, about 1.49 million hectares was used for cultivation and the remaining 4.22 million hectares was kept for forest and wild areas. These areas were used to collect minor produce.

Hopefully the vegetable exporters in India will benefit from the relaxation of the export rules and contribute successfully in exporting organic food.

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