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Low Maintenance and High Earning Cash Crops for Small Organic Farms

Dimple Gupta
Dimple Gupta
Coffee bean plant

In today’s time of hybrid and GM crops, it is important to focus on organic farming and healthy eating. Although, the above two have their benefits nothing can beat anything organic in terms of its nutritive value.

Certain food crops having medicinal, therapeutic, and aromatic characteristics are in demand in the organic foods market. States like Kerala and Sikkim are leading in the number of organic farms and the organic farming of trending foods like coffee, mandarin oranges, etc, are forming the major share of their organic crops respectively.

Here are some organic food crops that are in high demand in the organic foods market, both domestically and abroad:

Coffee: Along with tea, coffee, a feature of the Eastern, North-eastern, and Southern parts of the country, is among some of the traditionally grown beverages. With robust domestic demand, coffee is one of the most profitable agricultural products which are exported because it enjoys a massive demand abroad. A significant change in the lives of tribal people along with categorical farmers in terms of diversifying their sources of income, and a huge portion of hefty wallet spenders are willing to pay for organically grown coffee in India’s export destinations. Coffee is a classic example that has a higher cost of production when compared to the traditional crops and also the returns are outstanding, given the willingness of patrons to pay a premium.

Cardamom: In the present date and time, organic Black Cardamom is estimated to yield at around Rs 2000 per kg. Green cardamom can be seen more frequently across the world, but it’s the black cardamom whose large producers are scarce and popular in the international market. The organically grown varieties of both types hold an immense value. Sikkim has been attracting huge economic potential of growing cardamom as it grows over 90% of the Indian black cardamom which used to sell at Rs 250 per kg in 2010. This saw a huge rise in prices in 2016-17 when it crossed Rs 1600 per kg.

Mandarin Orange (Indian Kinnow/Hybrid): Specifically grown in the organic farms of Sikkim, it is one of the most commonly grown fruits in India. A close relative of the mandarin orange (a mandarin orange hybrid created by the University of California), Kinnow is popular all across India and abroad. Punjab is the leading state in Kinnow production and also in the profit margins earned by its trade. A traditionally grown Kinnow would sell for Rs 10-15 per kg but, a certified organically grown Kinnow would sell for Rs 40 to 50, which gives a major top-line and bottom-line improvement. Kinnow is also popular in the export and processed foods market.

Ginger: Root vegetables like ginger and turmeric have their US as their export destination. Native to the Indian palette, Asian vegetables, and spices are in constant demand with the growing awareness about their health benefits and around taste buds around the world accepting them. Organic ginger has immense health benefits like anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, is a truly unique and sought-after food product in the organic market. Its dried form makes an excellent food item that sells between Rs 200-400 per kg depending upon whether it’s grown conventionally or organically

Tumeric: Most commonly recognized in its dried and powdered form as a spice, turmeric is another popular organic farm root vegetable. With turmeric being used in daily meal preparations, its popularity is growing as an ingredient in herbal teas and potions. It is highly prized for its curing and healing capacity of wounds and different ailments. With immense adaptability for this root vegetable in both fresh and dried forms and its good export potential, it can sell for anywhere around Rs 100 -500 per kg. For health and beauty purposes, there are many people opting for it.

Apart from the above, in general, there are other organic foods as well like – baby corn, green vegetables, lentils, and legumes.

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