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Organic Products Export Increases to Record $1.4 Billion Last Fiscal

Swati Sharma
Swati Sharma
Organic Products
Organic Products

Organic products export from India grew by percent to a record 1.04 billion dollar during 2020-21 fiscal compared to the previous year. The increase comes after organic products dropped by 9% to $689 million in 2019-20 from $757 in 2018-19. 

Exports during 2019-20 declined because of Covid-19 pandemic. After then, exports of organic products have increased by 25 percent annually since 2016-17, said M Angamuthu, chairman of, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda). 

From 2002-03, Organic export increased by 80%, from $13 Million to $1.04 billion.  In 2016-17, organic product export increased by 25 percent, and in 2018-19, it increased by 40 -47 percent, the APEDA chairman added. 

Export Features 

A significant reason behind the rapid increase in export is that India proved itself to meet the requirement and the necessary compliances at each level of handling the product with consistent supplying and keeping the ecosystem sustainable. 

“The power and sincerity attained throughout the years have paved the way for double-digit growth of organic products exports. This has made better market penetration of Indian organic products in major importing nations, Angamuthu said. 

The US and European Union are the major markets where Indian organic products are in demand. 

During 2020-21, our organic products shipped to the US, Europe, Canada, UK, and Switzerland majorly. Exports are currently limited to raw and processed agricultural products consisting of oil meals, oilseeds, cereals, millets, fruit pulp, sugar, puree, etc. 

Advantage 

In the organic products sector, India enjoys a unique advantage of geographical and climatic conditions that is suitable for several crops and horticulture. 

As per agricultural experts, the need for an organic product from the green revolution led to not using chemicals in pesticides and fertilizers. 

Organic farming not only maintains the health of soils, ecosystems, and the people, but it combines tradition, innovation, and science to benefit all stakeholders. 

Although organic farming principles are being followed and practiced in many parts of the country, the absence of certification prevented them from being labelled organic products, the APEDA chairman said. 

Institutional Mechanism 

The Indian government developed an institutional mechanism with the demand rising for certified products in developed nations, the NPOP, under the foreign trade development regulations act of the directorate general of foreign trade. 

The adoption of an organized system through NPOP verifies through a third party. Such products earn a premium in the global market, Angamuthu said, adding that organic certification and export commenced in India primarily to cater to the organized agriculture trade sectors. 

This was majorly into the plantation sector, wherein product handlers defined to ensure the source of raw material. Nevertheless, demand has increased for other products and overseas markets; certification also expanded to other crops and products, he said. 

Organic products

A Revolution 

The NPOP has expanded over the years, and it can encompass small and marginal farmers under the certification system. A grower group certification helps farmers get the certificate to a group of farmers at an affordable price. It will help them supply ample quantities of certified products, the Apeda chairman said. 

 A revolution has taken place in Indian organic farming as certification of cultivable land has expanded to 34 states and Union Territories. Under NPOP, 1.36 million farmers are certified, making India the country the largest producer globally, Angamuthu added. 

In addition, small forest produces like medicinal plants, products like stem, flower, bark, root, bud, and fruit are also certified “as the collection provided by the forest area is done without affecting the sustainability.” Export of minor forest produces and meets the demand of ayurvedic, pharmacological, and cosmetic industries. 

Traceability 

There was a challenge that APEDA was facing during organic product exports. When the certification area increased and the product shipped from the country, the authority had to ensure that could trace each consignment back to the farm. 

Hence a tag has been generated with the application of technology and launched a web-based traceability system named Tracenet to help track the movement of any organic product from one place to another. 

Currently, efforts are applied to expand the product categories for organic livestock, poultry, aquaculture, and apiculture as the demand increases. 

Easing export system 

Several categories have been added, such as mushrooms, seaweed, aquatic plants, and greenhouse crops, etc., under NPOP, the APEDA chairman said. 

Recently, the processed form of fibers has also been include in the certification system and organic cosmetics and personal care products. The certification will provide voluntarily. 

Empowering States 

To cut certification costs of organic products, APEDA has empowered state government organizations to function as certification bodies. It is based on the competence and system established for inspection and certification as per the International organization for standards norms. 

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