The country had exported organic food products worth $515 million in 2017-18, about 39 per cent more than the products worth $370 million exported in the previous year, a top Apeda official said here on Tuesday.
The total volume of exports was 4.58 lakh tonnes and it primarily included oilseeds, cereals & millets, sugar, fruit juice concentrates, tea, spices, pulses, dry fruits, and medicinal plant products, Apeda General Manager Tarun Bajaj said while speaking at a 3-day organic trade fair.
Even though the US, European Union member countries and Canada were the biggest buyers, many new countries like Israel, Vietnam, Mexico have of late evinced interest in Indian organic products, he said.
“The equivalency granted by the European Commission and Switzerland for unprocessed plant products and the conformity assessment granted by the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) have played a pivotal role in increased export to these countries,” Bajaj said in a statement.
He also said that India is negotiating with Canada, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan for equivalency with NPOP (National Programme for Organic Production). Besides, the traceability system, Tracenet, established by Apeda for certification and export of organic products has also helped India in aintaining the credibility and traceability of certified products.
The demand for organic agri products is on a constant increase worldwide. Under NPOP, the area under organic certification during 2017-18 was 3.56 million hectare (mha). This includes 1.78 mha
cultivated area and another 1.78 mha for wild harvest collection.
“Among all States, Madhya Pradesh has 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” he said.