Agricultural Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) a statutory body under Ministry of Commerce, Government of India will be extending the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP), the certification services program to organic textiles, Cosmetics and Ayurveda, Yoga,& Naturopathy , Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) products to further boost organic products exports from the country.

“National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) launched in the year  2001  is the world’s largest organic certification programme. As a step further NPOP now proposes to enter into organic AYUSH  products, organic textiles and organic cosmetics. Since 2006, NPOP enjoys equivalence with European Union and Switzerland and has recognition agreement with USA. As a result of these agreements Indian organic products are being exported to these countries without the need for recertification.” said Mr Paban K Borthakur, chairman, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) while inaugurating the Biofach India 2019 India’s largest international trade fair of organic products in Greater Noida..

“NPOP has laid the foundation of organic movement in the country and played a key role over the years to establish the credibility of India organic sector in the national and international trade, NPOP now spans over the entire organic agriculture production scenario and is offering certification services for practically all possible activity starting from crops, livestock, aquaculture, processing and niche segments like mushrooms and sea weeds “said Mr Borthakur.

“APEDA in its effort to further boost export of organic products from the country is going in for widening the equivalence with reciprocity, many more countries including  Canada, Japan, Korea and Taiwan are being targeted. “Equivalency recognition” means, the official recognition of the foreign country, organic regulation and standards as equivalent to National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) of India based on the principle of reciprocity subject to verification of the relevant program” said Mr Borthakur.

Biofach India is the largest event of organic agriculture and organic food sector of India having the presence of entire organic agriculture and food fraternity from across the country is being organized jointly by the NurnbergMesse India and Agricultural Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) a statutory body under Ministry of Commerce, Government of India.

“More than 6000 delegates  comprising of Exporters, processors, retail chain industry, certification bodies and producers from India and abroad are  participating in the Biofach 2019, the trade Fair-cum-Exhibition to discuss and have first-hand feel of the Indian organic products including tea, spices, honey, basmati rice, coffee, cereals, dry fruits, vegetables, processed foods and medicinal plant” said Mr Borthakur,

 “The demand for organic Agri products is on constant increase world wide as Organic products are grown under a system of agriculture without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. As on 31st March 2019, total area under organic certification process (registered under National Programme for Organic Production) was 3.56 million Hectare. This includes 1.94 million ha cultivable area and another 1.49 million Hectare for wild harvest collection. Among all the states, Madhya Pradesh has covered largest area under organic certification followed by Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. During 2016, Sikkim had achieved a remarkable distinction of converting its entire cultivable land (more than 76000 ha) under organic certification” The Chairman said.

“India produced around 2.67  million MT (2018-19) of certified organic products which includes all varieties of food products namely Oil Seeds, Sugar cane, 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 and functional food products” he added.

“Among different states Madhya Pradesh is the largest producer followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. In terms of commodities Oil seeds are the single largest category followed by Sugar crops, Cereals and Millets, Fiber crops, Pulses, Medicinal, Herbal and Aromatic plants and Spices and Condiments. The total volume of export during 2018-19 was 6.14  lakh MT. The organic food export realization was around INR 5151 crore (757.49 million USD). Organic products are exported to USA, European Union, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Vietnam, New Zealand and Japan” he said.

“India exported organic products worth Rs. 5151 Crore  (over US  $ 757 million) in 2018-19, from Rs 3453 Crore  in 2017-18 (US$ 515 million ) registerng an increase of about 49 Per cent . The major demands under the organic product category are for flax seeds, sesame and soybean; pulses such as arhar (red gram), chana (pigeon pea); and rice, along with tea and medicinal plants. USA and European Union member-countries were the biggest buyers of organic products from There is a growing demand from Canada, Taiwan and South Korea in recent years, Germany is one of the biggest importers of Indian organic products. Now, many new countries are also taking interest” he said.

“As per the industry estimates, India organic agricultural products market is about 8500 crores. Exports account for nearly 60% at 5150 crore while domestic market is estimated at Rs 2500 crore. Compared to international trade of about 97 billion US$ Indian market seems to be very small but it is growing very fast. “he added

“With all these strengths and capabilities India is now ready to be the basket for organic food, ingredients and processed products for the world. I invite all of you to enjoy the diversity with cultural heritage of the country with the diversified spectrum of organic food being presented here.” He concluded.

Those present on the occasion included Dr Tarun Bajaj, General Manager, APEDA and Ms Sonia Prashar, Chairperson of the Board and Managing Director, NuernbergMesse India, Mr Rakesh Kumar, Chairman, India Exposition Mart ,Mr Micheal Keasler, Agricultural counsellor, German Embassy in India and Ms Louise Luftknost and Jennifer Chang from International Organic federation.