Huge Potential To Increase Exports Of Organic Agri Products: Commerce Secretary

The secretary urged the industry to promote the logo of India organic as it would help in promoting the credibility of the products in the international market.
India's Agri
India's Agri

There is a huge potential to increase exports of organic agri products as the global market stood at about USD 135 billion and India's shipments are only over USD 700 million, a top government official said on Thursday.

Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal said that the industry should also work on improving the quality and standards of these products.

"Organic food segment is an important area. We need to work on this. The world market is about USD 135 billion and India's share is USD 700 million, so there is a huge potential in this... We are focusing on the sector," Barthwal said here while inaugurating a fair of organic products - BIOFAC INDIA at India Expo Mart in Greater Noida. It was organised by APEDA.

He also said that there is a need to promote Indian standards of these goods and comply with the standards of importing countries.

The secretary urged the industry to promote the logo of India organic as it would help in promoting the credibility of the products in the international market.

He added that there are several goods which India is producing organically like avocado and passion fruit and there is a need to increase awareness about these domestically-produced products.

"Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) should run a campaign about these products which are available in India," Barthwal said, adding these exports can be further promoted through e-commerce medium and there is a need to establish the credibility of Indian organic goods.

He announced that soon the commerce ministry would convene a meeting of all the stakeholders of the sector to resolve their issues, if any.

Additional Secretary in the department of commerce Rajesh Agrawal said that APEDA will play a critical role in increasing exports.

Agrawal added that the ministry is working to create a platform for the sector where industry can flag their issues.

About industry demands to increase the number of certification bodies, he said there are 30 and the ministry would look into the issue of increasing the number.

APEDA Chairman Abhishek Dev said that they are working with the industry to promote the exports.

"We do hope that our exports will increase," Dev said, adding the APEDA is implementing the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) which involves the accreditation of certification bodies, standards for organic production, promotion of organic farming and marketing.

The NPOP standards for production and accreditation have been recognised by the European Commission and Switzerland for unprocessed plant products as equivalent to their country standards.

With these recognitions, Indian organic products duly certified by the accredited certification bodies of India are accepted by the importing countries.

As on March 31 this year, total area under organic certification process (registered under National Programme for Organic Production) is 5,391,792.97 hectares of cultivable area and another 47,80,130.56 hectares for wild harvest collection.

Among all the states, Madhya Pradesh has covered the largest area under organic certification followed by Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Odisha, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.

India produced around 2.9 million tonnes (2022-23) of certified organic products which includes all varieties of food products like oil seeds, fibre, sugar cane, millets, pulses, medicinal plants, tea, coffee, fruits, spices, dry fruits, vegetables, and processed foods.

Exports in 2022-23 was about Rs 5,525.18 crore (USD 708.33 million). Organic products are exported to the USA, European Union, Canada, Great Britain, Switzerland, Turkey, Australia, Ecuador, Korea Republic, Vietnam, and Japan.

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