Organic Revolution: Exploring India's Thriving Sustainable Agriculture Sector

Organic Revolution

Organic Revolution

Exploring India's Thriving Sustainable Agriculture Sector

In recent years, there has been a significant surge in the demand for organic products worldwide, and India is no exception. Organic farming, a method of agriculture that eschews chemical fertilisers and pesticides in favour of environmentally and socially responsible practices, has been gaining momentum across the country.

Let's delve into the burgeoning organic food market in India and its promising future.

Market Growth

As of 2022, the organic food market in India was valued at USD 1.7 billion. However, the industry is on a trajectory of exponential growth, with projections indicating a leap to USD 10.329 billion by 2032, boasting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.20% during the forecast period (2024 - 2032). This growth is indicative of the increasing consumer preference for healthier and sustainable food choices.

Area Under Organic Cultivation

A crucial aspect of organic farming is the area under cultivation. As of 2023, a total area of 10.17 million hectares is under organic certification, as per the National Programme for Organic Production. This includes both cultivable land and areas designated for wild harvest collection. States like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Sikkim, Lakshadweep and others are leading the charge in embracing organic farming practices.

Diverse Production

India produced approximately 2.9 million metric tons of certified organic products in the year 2022-23. This diverse range of products includes oilseeds, cereals, pulses, spices, fruits, vegetables, and more. Notably, Madhya Pradesh emerges as the largest producer, followed closely by Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Odisha. The production isn't limited to edible items but also encompasses organic cotton fibre and functional food products.

Global Export Success

India's organic products are making waves in the global market, with exports reaching impressive figures. In 2022-23, the country exported 312,800.51 metric tons of organic goods, generating a revenue of around INR 5,525.18 crore (approximately 708.33 million USD). Key export destinations include the USA, European Union, Canada, Great Britain, and others. Notably, the United States alone absorbs 54% of India's organic exports, with organic processed foods leading the charge.

Government Schemes Promoting Organic Farming

In India, several government schemes are championing the cause of organic farming, promoting sustainable agricultural practices across the nation. Some of the  key schemes driving this green revolution are:

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)

PKVY focuses on cluster-based organic farming, aiding farmers in obtaining Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) certification. Financial assistance of Rs. 50,000 per hectare for three years is provided to farmers via Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). Additionally, clusters of 1,000 hectares receive Rs. 20 lakh for infrastructure development and value addition.

Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER)

MOVCDNER emphasises third-party certified organic farming in the northeastern region, particularly for niche crops. Farmers are supported with Rs. 25,000 per hectare for three years for organic inputs, along with assistance for Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) and post-harvest infrastructure.

Jaivik Kheti Organic E-commerce Portal

This portal, managed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, connects farmers directly with retail and bulk buyers. It also serves as a knowledge repository, offering resources on best farming practices and fostering collaboration among stakeholders for the comprehensive development of organic farming.

National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP)

Implemented by APEDA, NPOP focuses on accrediting Certification Bodies, setting standards for organic production, and promoting organic farming and marketing. Indian organic products certified under NPOP standards are recognised and accepted globally.

Production Linked Incentive Scheme for Food Processing Industry (PLISFPI)

With a budget of INR 10,900 crore, PLISFPI supports the creation of global food manufacturing champions. The scheme covers innovative and organic products, including those from Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), offering incentives for industry growth.

Support for Organic and Bio-inputs

Various schemes such as Bhartiya Prakritik Kheti Bio-Input Resource Centres, PM Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment and Amelioration of Mother Earth (PM-PRANAAM), and Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan (GOBARdhan) scheme encourage farmers to adopt organic fertilisers, promoting soil health and sustainability.

These schemes collectively represent the government's comprehensive approach towards promoting organic products and fostering a sustainable ecosystem in India.

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead, the future of organic farming in India appears exceptionally promising. With supportive government policies, increasing consumer awareness, and a commitment to sustainable agricultural practices, the organic sector is poised for continued growth. Projections by the US Department of Agriculture suggest that India's organic products market could reach $10.1 billion by 2026, further solidifying its position as a global leader in sustainable agriculture.

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