Organic products are grown under a system of agriculture without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides with an environmentally and socially responsible approach. This is a method of farming that works at grass root level preserving the reproductive and regenerative capacity of the soil, good plant nutrition, and sound soil management, produces nutritious food rich in vitality which has resistance to diseases.
India is bestowed with lot of potential to produce all varieties of organic products due to its various agro climatic regions. In several parts of the country, the inherited tradition of organic farming is an added advantage. This holds promise for the organic producers to tap the market which is growing steadily in the domestic market related to the export market.
As per the available statistics, India’s rank in terms of World’s Organic Agricultural land was 15 as per 2013 data (Source FIBL & IFOAM Year Book 2015). The total area under organic certification is 5.71million Hectare (2015-16). This includes 26% cultivable area with 1.49 million Hectare and rest 74% (4.22 million Hectare) forest and wild area for collection of minor forest produces.
The Government of India has implemented the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP). The national programme involves the accreditation programme for Certification Bodies, standards for organic production, promotion of organic farming etc. The NPOP standards for production and accreditation system have been recognized by European Commission and Switzerland for unprocessed plant products as equivalent to their country standards. Similarly, USDA has recognized NPOP conformity assessment procedures of accreditation as equivalent to that of US. With these recognitions, Indian organic products duly certified by the accredited certification bodies of India are accepted by the importing countries.
India produced around 1.35 million MT (2015-16) of certified organic products which includes all varieties of food products namely Sugarcane, Oil Seeds, Cereals & Millets, Cotton, Pulses, Medicinal Plants, Tea, Fruits, Spices, Dry Fruits, Vegetables, Coffee etc. . The production is not limited to the edible sector but also produces organic cotton fiber, functional food products etc.
Among all the states, Madhya Pradesh has covered largest area under organic certification followed by Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The total volume of export during 2015-16 was 263687 MT. The organic food export realization was around 298 million USD. Organic products are exported to European Union, US, Canada, Switzerland, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, South East Asian countries, Middle East, South Africa etc.
Oil seeds (50%) lead among the products exported followed by Processed food products (25%), Cereals & Millets (17%), Tea (2%), Pulses (2%), Spices (1%), Dry fruits (1%), and others.