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Product Profile- Organic Food Products

TPCI_Organic Food

APEDA, Ministry of Commerce and Industry defines Organic products as “the products grown under a system of agriculture, without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides with an environmentally and socially responsible approach”.

Organic farming has several benefits beyond widely publicised reduced exposure to pesticides and other chemicals entailing food safety.  The system of organic farming impacts the sustainability of agro ecosystem as a whole.   It builds the fertility of soil by encouraging growth of soil based flora and fauna. It also allows for better water retention capacity of soil, immunity from diseases and sound soil management. It mitigates the effect of harmful chemicals, greenhouse gas and global warming. FAO claims that organic farming produces more biodiversity than other farming systems. 

India is endowed with large agricultural land and has the potential produce almost all varieties of organic products due to its diverse range of agro-climatic conditions. Infact, organic farming is a tradition in many parts of the country.

As per FIBL & IFOAM Year Book 2018 India is ranked 9th in in terms of World’s Organic Agricultural land and 1st in terms of total number of organic producers. As per the APEDA database total number of operators involved in organic cultivation are over 7 thousand while the farmers engaged in organic cultivation are close to 11 lakh. Detailed distribution of the operators and farmers engaged in organic cultivation are-

Individual farm producers 1918 No.
ICS Groups 3488 (10.91 lakh farms)
Total Processors 1081 No.
Total Trader 822 No.
Wild harvest Operators 79 No.
Total Operators 7388  No.
Total Farmers 10,93,288

Total area under organic cultivation in India in 2017-18 as per APEDA is 3.5 million hectares. Madhya Pradesh leads the list of largest area under organic certification with an area of 1.1 million hectares under certification followed by Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. One remarkable achievement of Sikkim has been that it has been able to convert its entire cultivable land i.e.  76 thousand hectares under organic certification in 2016.

APEDA database mentions that India produced around 1.70 million metric tonnes (2017-18) of certified organic products in 2017-18. Oil seeds are the single largest category in terms of total production of organic products with a production of 5.4 lakh metric tonnes followed by Sugar crops, Cereals and Millets, Fiber crops, Pulses, Medicinal, Herbal and Aromatic plants and Spices. India produced 46 thousand metric tonnes of organic Medicinal/Herbal/Aromatic Plants, 45 thousand metric tonnes of spices, 54 thousand metric tonnes of organic fruits and vegetables and 7 thousand metric tonnes of organic ornamental flowers in 2017-18.

Total export of organic food products from India in 2017-18 was 4.58 lakh metric tonnes in terms of quantity and in value terms total export was worth 515.44 million USD. Top 3 export destinations of Indian organic produce are USA (export value – USD 234.6 million), European Union (export value – USD 196.8 million) and Canada (export value – USD 51.8 million). Oilseeds (47.6%) lead the list of organic product export from India with a share of 48% of total organic food products export from India. It is followed by Cereals and millets (10.4%), Plantation crop products such as Tea and Coffee (8.96%), Dry fruits (8.88%), Spices and condiments (7.76%) and others.

As per Euro monitor International ‘Sresta natural bio products’ is India’s largest organic foods company followed by ‘organic India’ and ‘chamong tee exports’.  It also estimates India’s organic food market size of INR 378 cr at a growth rate of 19% in 2017. India is evidently not just a major producer but also a big market of organic food products.

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