India exported organic products worth Rs 5,151 crore in 2018-19, against Rs 3,453 crore in the previous year, registering an increase of about 49 per cent, according to the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority.
"India produced around 2.67 million tonnes (2018-19) of certified organic products which include all varieties of food products namely oil seeds, sugar cane, cereals and 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," APEDA Chairman Paban Borthakur stated.
The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) is a statutory body under the Commerce Ministry.
It said 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.
"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," said Borthakur.
He said the demand for organic agricultural products is constantly increase world-wide as organic products are grown under a system of agriculture without the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. As on 31 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 76,000 ha) under organic certification, Borthakur said.
"The total volume of export during 2018-19 was 6.14 lakh MT. The organic food export realisation was around Rs 5,151 crore (757.49 million USD). Organic products are exported to USA, European Union, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Vietnam, New Zealand and Japan," the APEDA Chairman said.
To further boost demand of Organic agri products in India and abroad, APEDA will be showcasing India's strength as major hub for organic food products, ingredients, commodities and processed food at the three-day Biofach India 2019, a trade fair for organic food to be held in Greater Noida from November 7-9.