Tag Archive Organic Farming

Scope of Growth in Organic Farming in India

As per industry reports, India organic food market, which currently sized at 6000 crores is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 25% during 2016-2021.


The last couple of years have seen a massive growth of demand in the organic food industry, especially in the urban and fast-growing markets of India. The organic food industry in India which is currently in its initial stages of evolution is growing at a rapid rate of 25% – 30% Y-o-Y. High disposable income and increased health awareness are the key factors which have resulted in this augmented demand.
With this scenario the domestic organic food market is projected to touch $1.36 billion mark by 2020.
How different is organic farming from regular farming?
The differences between organic farming methods and conventional farming are the methods used during food production. Organic farming works towards increasing sustainability and biodiversity and needs good soil and air quality. This must then be maintained by using natural growing practices, avoiding harmful chemicals and continued practice of crop rotation along with other natural farming methods.
Organic agriculture is typically more profitable – upto 35% more than conventional farming. It also provides more rural employment opportunities because organic management is more labour intensive than conventional practices. For workers, though, the biggest advantage is that organic decreases their exposure to toxic agrochemicals.
The demand vs supply analysis of organic food brands in India
The organic food market in India is still at a nascent stage wherein we are noticing an increasing demand from end buyers but due to limited availability the supply remains slow. The major problem faced currently is that organic products are priced at a high rate which makes market penetration challenging. The limited availability of organic foods coupled with the fact that majority of sales is concentrated in larger cities shows that supply chains of organic food from farms to domestic consumers are not very well established. There is a lack of knowledge about organic products leading to a low penetration amongst potential customers.
Role of accelerator programs like Agri-Udaan
Agri-Udaan is a brilliant initiative by the Government of India to attract youth from rural India and train them so that they can add value to farmers produce. This indirectly brings more land under organic cultivation. With the Indian Government committed to the goal of doubling farmers income by 2022 several Indian agri-tech start-ups and ecosystem enablers have come forward to help India regain its status of being the “Golden Bird” using technologies such as AI, BIG Data, ML and more.
Upcoming trends which make organic farming a viable business model
There are of technologies being developed like refrigeration system powered by farm waste, AI Based deep tech solution for crop inspection and agricultural products grading, supply chain optimisation platforms, tech platform for rural entrepreneurs for demand led agriculture, a wearable plant phenomics device for pre-detection of pests diseases and deficiencies prior to any physical damage to plant. With such innovations organic farmers can merge nature and human creation to improve efficiency and protect produce.
The trend of organic and healthy eating is catching up again where an increasing number of Indian citizens have chosen a complete chemical free lifestyle and have turned towards eating natural and organic. We are seeing newer organic brands coming up which have traditional processing techniques, and all this is made possible due to the awareness spread by a lot of change makers, NGOs and organic food marketing companies.
As per industry reports, India organic food market, which currently sized at 6000 crores is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 25% during 2016-2021. Rising popularity and awareness within the younger generation and millennials is the reason behind the growth. In a country having 1.25 billion citizens, there is immense scope and opportunity for new brands to enter and work mutually for the growth of the industry, thus making it a rewarding opportunity for the investors to enter this space.

The Indian Organic Market A New Paradigm in Agriculture

The Indian Organic Market A New Paradigm in Agriculture
Ernest and Young, 2018
Agriculture has been practiced for centuries, and like any socio-economic or political
system that has stood the test of time, it is a product of the circumstances in which it
exists. In other words, it has undergone extreme changes to keep up with the opportunities,
requirements and challenges of the changing world. For thousands of years, agriculture
was practiced without the use of artificial substances. However, strides taken in science
and technology culminated in the intensification of conventional agriculture for increased
productivity. The increased use of synthetic substances met with fierce criticism and gave
birth to multiple organic farming movements across the world. Organic agriculture (OA) is
defined by the IFOAM as “a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems
and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local
conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic Agriculture combines
tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair
relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.”(1) In other words, organic products
offer more social, economic, cultural, political and environmental benefits in the long run
than conventional products.
The categorization of a product as organic implies two main things: First, it is free from
toxic persistent pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, growth hormones and antibiotics or
genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Second, stringent organic cultivation standards
are followed, with respect to impact on soil, water and air. These value chain considerations
have resulted in organic products emerging as the perceived responsible choice among
consumers. Resultantly, the market for organic products has grown remarkably since the
1990s. The global market for organic products is growing faster (CAGR 16%) than the
global markets for conventional products (CAGR 10%) (7). This differential growth rate is
observed in multiple market segments, including food and beverages, textiles, health and
wellness, and beauty and personal care among others. The rapid growth of the organic
market can be attributed to various factors. The increasing emphasis on good health,
proliferation of consumption-related ailments, an increased awareness regarding the health
benefits of organic products among consumers, enhanced income levels and standard of
living, together with government initiatives aimed at promoting organic products are key
drivers of this exponential market expansion.
Organic farming is practiced with varying levels of success in 178 countries (2). However,
the North American and European Union regions (as single markets) generate the bulk
of the global sales. The global sales increased to US$89.7 billion in 2016 from US$7.9
billion in 2000 (2). Country wise, the top consumers of organic products are the US (US$43.1
billion), followed by Germany (US$10.5 billion) and France (US$7.5 billion) (2). The increase
in demand has led to a considerable increase in the area subject to organic management
techniques globally, surging from 11 million ha in 1999 to 57.8 million ha in 2016 (2). The
wild harvest and other non-agriculture organic collection area also increased to 39.9
million ha in 2016 from 4.1 million ha in 1999 (2). The three countries with the largest area
under organic cultivation are Australia (27.1 million ha), followed by Argentina (3.0 million
ha) and China (2.3 million ha) (2). The three countries with the largest wild harvest area for
organic products are Finland (11.6 million ha), followed by Zambia (6.7 million ha) and
India (4.2 million ha) (2). In addition to ranking third in wild harvest area, India also houses the highest number of organic producers globally with 835,000 organic farmers (2). It also ranks ninth in terms of
area under organic cultivation with 1.49 million ha (2).  Therefore, it occupies a robust position
in producing organic products, having already exported 1.35 million MT of certified organic
food products worth INR1,937 crore in 2015-16 (3). The exports are largely concentrated
around the US, Europe (EU), Canada, Japan and the West Asian markets. India is the largest
exporter of organic cotton worldwide. In the food market segment, oilseeds comprised half of India’s overall organic food export, followed by processed food products at 25% (4). The current Indian
organic market is estimated at INR 40,000 million and is likely to increase to INR100,000–120,000 million
by 2020 with a similar incremental trend in exports (5). Indian organic market has been progressing steadily
with CAGR of 25% as compared to 16% global growth rates (4, 2). However, despite the promising performance
in terms of exports, the local consumption of organic produce is still at a nascent stage with a market share
of less than 1% and per capita consumption at only EURO.1 (2)
The organic sector in India, albeit comparatively new, possesses inherent strengths that can be
leveraged, and the current context in which it thrives offers many opportunities that can be utilized. The
agricultural policy of India has gradually shifted from espousing a production-centric approach to a more
holistic approach. This approach, in addition to focusing on increased productivity, factors in climatic
considerations, nutritional concerns, environmental impact and standard of living of the stakeholders. The
shortcomings of conventional products in relation to these considerations create a lacuna, which is being
leveraged to promote organic agriculture. The Government has sanctioned several schemes to incentivize
organic farming and many state governments are creating individual policies for the same. In addition to
the Government’s increasing interest in the sector, private sector actors too have expressed their interest
by increasing investments in the sector. In addition to this, the demand for organic products is increasing
steadily as is the level of interest that Indian farmers have expressed in making the shift to organic farming.
Despite the enabling environment created by a culmination of the aforementioned factors, there exist
several challenges for all the stakeholders involved at every stage of the value chain. Producers of organic
products are continually struggling to optimize the scale of their operations while maintaining profitability.
This is primarily because of the gaps in the regulatory framework for organic products in India. In addition
to the procedural challenges pertaining to certification and quality assurance, the increasing costs of
inputs and the elongated conversion period from conventional to organic farming are a few of the key
challenges faced by the producers, most of whom are small or marginal farmers. The processors of organic
food products on the other hand, face significant resistance in the form of lack of adequate post harvest
facilities for organic products. Several measures need to be taken in order to avoid contamination and
cross-contamination of the produce and the infrastructural capabilities of the country often prove to be
inadequate. The marketing of organic produce comes with its own set of challenges related to global
competitiveness and differences in global and national quality standards. Although there has been a marked
improvement in the level of awareness regarding organic products, many consumers are unaware of its
benefits thereby providing no incentives for increased supply and resulting in organic products being priced
higher than their conventional variants.
An analysis of the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats pertaining to the organic sector in
India calls for the development of a public-private partnership model that aids the sector in reaching its full
potential. A greater emphasis should be placed on the capacity building of stakeholders, easing access to
finance, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of all assets and processes as well as research and development
to help keep abreast with global progress in the sector. Additionally, there has emerged an urgent need for
infrastructural development and business climate reforms, reinvention of branding and marketing strategies
and entrepreneurship development.
This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the organic market in India with the aim of identifying the
key areas of intervention. It situates the Indian organic sector in the broader context of the global organic
sector while identifying trends, key drivers of growth, challenges and opportunities. The paper also puts
forth various solutions to the problems identified and in keeping in mind the global and national objectives
of environmental protection, food security and sustainability.

  1. “Cultivating Changes,” IFOAM website, https://www.ifoam.bio/en/organic-landmarks/definition-organic-agriculture accessed 16 March 2018
  2. The World of Organic Agriculture Statistics and Emerging Trend 2018, FiBL and IFOAM – Organics International FIBL & IFOAM website https://shop.fibl.org/CHen/mwdownloads/download/link/id/1093/?ref=1 accessed on March 10. 2018
  3. APEDA. http://apeda.gov.in/apedawebsite/organic/Organic_Products.htm accesses on March 10, 2018
  4. India Organic Food Market Forecast and Opportunities, 2020. August 2015. Tech Sci Research. https://www.techsciresearch.com/report/india-organicfood-market-forecast-and-opportunities-2020/449.html accesses on March 10, 2018
  5. Dilip Kr. Jha. India to treble export of organic products by 2020. Business Standard, April 27, 2017 website http://www.business-standard.com/article/markets/india-to-treble-export-of-organic-porducts-by-2020-117042600455_1.html accesses on March 10, 2018

Organic Agriculture worldwide 2017

Biofach Global report 2017 on Organic Agriculture

Delhi’s organic farming shocker: Data a load of manure

Mail Today Bureau   |   Mail Today  |   New Delhi, March 26, 2015 | UPDATED 06:03 IST

According to the state department, there is hardly any activity of organic farming on Delhi’s land . It claims it gets no subsidy for for organic farmers.Believe it or not, almost 70 per cent of the national Capital was used for organic farming in 2011-2012, according to National Project on Organic Farming (NPOF), which comes under the Ministry of Agriculture. While the total geographical area of Delhi is 1.48 lakh hectares, NPOF data shows 100238.74 hectares (almost twice the size of Mumbai) was used for organic farming during that period.
What smacks of data fudging and a gigantic scam took place between 2009 and 2012 when the Sheila Dikshit government was in power in Delhi and Congress-led UPA ruled at the Centre. As per the central government scheme, a subsidy of Rs.10,000 per hectare of land is given to a farmer for organic farming. Hence, Rs.100-crore plus subsidies in 2011-12 were given by the Union government for organic farming in the national Capital for 100238.74 hectares. And Delhi, on paper, produced 4,765 tonnes of organic products in 2009. The state of Assam produced 2,329 tonnes. In other words, urban Delhi’s output of organic products was 100 per cent higher than that of Assam. The scam was exposed by the Crop Care Foundation of India (CCFI) through an RTI.
When MAIL TODAY asked the Ministry of Agriculture if indeed such gigantic tract of land inside Delhi has been used for organic farming or if the national capital is such a big producer of organic vegetables, we got no answers. Neither did the Commerce Ministry which is in charge of export of organic products come up with any answers. Both ministries passed the buck and pointed fingers at each other.
The Delhi Agriculture department says there is hardly any organic farming done in Delhi. “There is no awareness about organic farming in Delhi. We don’t get any specific data on such farming from the government. Neither do we get any subsidy,” an official from the department told MAIL TODAY. Delhi agriculture department records show 30,922 hectares of land were used for overall agricultural activities in Delhi in 2011-12. Agriculture activity in Delhi takes place only on six blocks, out of which there is negligible farming in 50 per cent of the area. NPOF was introduced by the Congress-led UPA government during the 10th five-year plan as a central sector scheme with effect from 10 October, 2004, with an initial outlay of `57 crore for promotion of organic farming in India. Though introduced by the UPA government, the scheme continues till date with substantially enhanced budget.
Dr Krishan Chandra, Regional Director, National Center for Organic Farming (NCOF), Ministry of Agriculture, said: “Agriculture is a state subject. The Centre’s role is to help states monetarily so that they can take up organic farming. We have different schemes through which we help farmers by providing money to states. But there is no scope of organic farming in Delhi as there is meagre land available for any kind of farming. As far as subsidy is concerned, we give subsidy for the export of organic produce.” According to the data available with the Ministry of Agriculture, the annual export value of Agriorganic products for 2012-13 was Rs.1155.81 crore.
Dr Chandra said that on noticing major glitch in the data provided by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), under the Ministry of Commerce, regarding organic farming in Delhi, he asked them for clarification.
“The data regarding land for organic farming is maintained by APEDA and not by our department. They said that earlier they used to enter the data manually but now they are doing it using computers. There may be some data manipulation as it is not possible to carry out such large-scale organic farming in Delhi,” said Chandra. “At times the state helps the farmer financially to carry out organic farming. Farmers furnish address details of the national capital, but the land is somewhere else. The responsibility to check such details furnished by farmers lies with the Commerce Ministry,” he said. Sources in the Agriculture Ministry said that there is a possibility of embezzlement of funds at the state level because who the beneficiaries would be are decided by the state.
The state agriculture department claims to have no information on organic farming in Delhi. “We don’t have any information,” said Kaushal Kishore, joint director, agriculture, Development department, Delhi government. Rajinder Chaudhry, Director (Media), Ministry of Commerce, said: “We are not aware about the disparity in data from other sources. The data provided by APEDA is sourced from TRACENET – a web-based traceability system operational under NPOP.”