Optimistic that organic farming
is set to expand in India, NITI Aayog
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amitabh Kant
suggested that standards set by export promotion body Apeda
(Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) should be followed for organic products to push deeper into global as well as domestic markets.
The study done by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) released on Wednesday also favoured establishing a uniform standard for domestic market
and trade, and clearly laid out labelling requirements, logo and punishment for fraudulent practices in organic items.
In the absence of clear rules and multiplicity of regulators, the organic market might not reach its full potential.
Kant meanwhile, in his address said the existing wholesale mandi
system poses a “serious challenge” for marketing organic produce and therefore, a separate organic market with direct consumer access
model is the need of the hour.
Besides ensuring better market linkages, he emphasised on making available quality organic seeds and planting material, private investment in organic seed breeding and creating a role model of organic farmers
for others to emulate.
has many opportunities and these challenges are like we face in every single sector in India
and we need to overcome,” he said, after the release of a study on ‘Organic farming
in India: Status, Issues and Way Forward’ by the ICRIER.
He said he was not “despondent” about what has been made out in the report. “I am an optimist... If you want organic farming
to take off in India, just keep the government aside,” he added.
regulator Food Safety
and Standards Authority of India
(FSSAI) Chairman Ashish Bahuguna, Amway India
CEO Anshu Budhraja and ICRIER
Director and Chief Executive Rajat Kathuria and co-author of the report Arpita Mukherjee were present at the event.
On challenges related to multiple organic standards and certification highlighted in the report, he said, “I think we should go with Apeda
standards. Get everything else and just push for Apeda
standards, which are the export standards.”
Among recommendations, the ICRIER
report pitched for a uniform standard and clearly lay out labelling requirements, logo and punishment for fraudulent practices by unscrupulous traders through a comprehensive policy and guideline.
In the absence of FSSAI
guidelines for the domestic market, the growth of the sector is mired in fraudulence and malpractices such as selling inorganic products as organic, and making things worse is lack of a framework to penalise such offences, it added.
The report also underscored the urgent need for creation of a single nodal agency for the organic sector.
India’s organic food market is growing at 14 per cent and is expected to rise to 20 per cent in the next five years, it added.