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 conditions. 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 and export sector.
As per the available statistics, India’s rank 8th in terms of World’s Organic Agricultural land and 1st in terms of total number of producers as per 2020 data (Source: FIBL & IFOAM Year Book, 2020).
The APEDA, Ministry of Commerce & Industries, Government of India is implementing the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP). The programme involves the accreditation of Certification Bodies, standards for organic production, promotion of organic farming and marketing 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. With these recognitions, Indian organic products duly certified by the accredited certification bodies of India are accepted by the importing countries. APEDA is also in the process of negotiation with South Korea, Taiwan, Canada, Japan etc.
As on 31st March 2021 total area under organic certification process (registered under National Programme for Organic Production) is 4339184.93 ha (2020-21). This includes 2657889.33 ha cultivable area and another 1681295.61 ha for wild harvest collection.
Among all the states, Madhya Pradesh has covered largest area under organic certification followed by Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Karnataka.
During 2016, Sikkim has achieved a remarkable distinction of converting its entire cultivable land (more than 75000 ha) under organic certification.
India produced around 3496800.34 MT (2020-21) of certified organic products which includes all varieties of food products namely Oil Seeds, fibre, Sugar cane, Cereals & Millets, Cotton, Pulses, Aromatic & Medicinal Plants, Tea, Coffee, Fruits, Spices, Dry Fruits, Vegetables, Processed foods etc. The production is not limited to the edible sector but also produces organic cotton fiber, functional food products etc.
Among different states Madhya Pradesh is the largest producer followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. In terms of commodities Oil seeds are the single largest category followed by Sugar crops, Cereals and Millets, Tea & Coffee, Fiber crops, fodder, Pulses, Medicinal/ Herbal and Aromatic plants and Spices & Condiments.
The total volume of export during 2020-21 was 888179.68 MT. The organic food export realization was around INR 707849.52 Lakhs (1040.95 million USD). Organic products are exported to USA, European Union, Canada, Great Britain, Korea Republic, Israel, Switzerland, Ecuador, Vietnam, Australia etc.
In terms of export value realization Processed foods including soya meal (57%) lead among the products followed by Oilseeds (9%), Cereals and millets (7%), Plantation crop products such as Tea and Coffee (6%), Spices and condiments (5%), Medicinal plants(5%), Dry fruits (3%), Sugar(3%), and others.