Press Trust of India
India’s organic food market is growing at 17 per cent annually and has the potential to grow at a faster pace on rising demand for health and wellness food products across the world, Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said on Friday.
Badal and Minister for Women and Child Development (WCD) Smriti Irani jointly inaugurated an organic food festival for women entrepreneurs at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium here.
The festival with a theme “Unleasing India’s Organic Market Potential” has been organised by both the ministries with CII as the industry partner.
More than 180 women entrepreneurs, self-help groups (SHGs) and co-operatives are taking part in this three-day exhibition organised in the national capital during February 21-23.
More expos planned
Addressing the event, Badal said the two ministries have come together to give women entrepreneurs in the organic sector “wings to fly and reach the sky.”
She said this festival would be organised six times a year across India, and the plan is to make it an international exhibition in the near future.
She said the entire world is looking towards organic and wellness food, which is required for both physical and mental health.
“In organic and health foods, India is a power house,” Badal said, adding that there are many parts of India which are naturally organic such as Sikkim, hilly states and tribal belts.
This organic festival provides a platform to women entrepreneurs to connect with consumers as well as retailers, Badal said.
“The organic sector in India is growing by almost 17 per cent every year... In times to come, the trend is going to grow much faster,” the minister said.
Earlier this month, Badal had said the organic food market will touch ₹75,000 crore in the next five years. Badal said food processing, value addition and organic food would be instrumental in the government’s target to double farmers’ income.
“Under the able leadership of Minister of Food Processing, we celebrate the entrepreneurial potential of over 180 women in this segment of organic food under the aegis of this festival,” said Irani, who is also the Textile Minister.
She said foreign direct investment (FDI) in the food processing sector has increased substantially under the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Irani stressed on providing access to latest food processing technology available globally to entrepreneurs, especially women.
Apart from women entrepreneurs, the minister suggested that Divyang citizens should be part of this organic food festival from next year. Tribal produce and nutritious food supported by Poshan Abhiyan should also be included. Food Processing Secretary Pushpa Subrahma- nyam said India is ranked number one in organic producers and ninth in area under cultivation for organic products.