Organic farming, an environmentally-friendly agricultural process, steers away from the use of chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides by replacing them with pest controls made from animal, human and plant residues. The main goal of organic farming is to protect the environment while producing high-quality, organic products. Organic farming in India has brought several benefits to India that had a declined growth of the economy even before the pandemic.
The Impact of Organic Farming in India
Organic farming in India has improved the quality of products and food safety by eliminating chemical pesticides that are bad for health. Due to the shortage of vaccines during the pandemic in 2020, people started to realize the importance of immunity and health and prioritize high-quality food; this has resulted in an increase in domestic demand for organic products in India.
As the number of COVID-19 cases in 2021 became twice as worse than it was in 2020 in India, the production and market for organic products were growing. According to a 2021 Foreign Agriculture Service report, there was a 36% growth in organic crop production from 2020-2021 compared to its production from 2019-2020. According to a CUTS International survey, during the pandemic in 2020, data showed that more than 91% of organic product sellers and 89% of consumers agreed that “there has been a substantial rise in both sale and consumption of organic products during the pandemic.”
Organic farming in India also brings an additional source of income due to the high demand for exporting organic products. India exports a wide variety of organic products such as oilseeds, dry fruits, cereals, coffee and tea to 58 countries including Australia, the United States, Canada, Switzerland, the European Union, the UAE and more.
The demand for exports of organic products in India is growing rapidly. According to the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, “the country’s exports of organic food products rose by 51% year-on-year to $1 billion (Rs 7,078 crore) in 2020-21,” The Economic Times reported.
The organic product export realization achieved $1,040.95 million during the same period. In terms of export value realization, oilseeds (9%) were in second place following soya meal (57%), cereals and millets (7%) and tea and coffee (6%).
Responding to the Growth of Organic Farming in India
To facilitate the growth of organic farming in India, the country came up with two major ways: creating online organic product shops and providing organic farming programs.
- The Organic E-commerce Platform. The Jaivik Kheti, India’s online organic product shop, assists farmers to sell their organic products globally by linking them with retail as well as bulk buyers. As of July 26, 2022, the Jaivik Kheti platform has 609,144 registered farmers, 18,326 local groups, 89 input suppliers, 8,098 buyers and 123,971 organic products.
- The Organic Farming Program. Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCDNER) is one of the farming programs in India to help farmers adopt organic farming in the North Eastern region of the country. Implemented in 2015, its goal is to empower 30,000 to 50,000 farmers by creating 100 farmer producer companies (FPCs). According to the Press Information Bureau Government of India Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, “Under MOVCDNER, the FPCs get access to shared infrastructure including collection centers, custom hiring centers, processing infrastructure and packhouses, allowing them to add value to their produce and market them well.”
Organic farming in India is essential to the substantial growth of domestic and export demand for its organic products. This environment-friendly, sustainable farming process is a profitable business that helps to strengthen India’s economy.
– Jiaying Guo