In a bid to promote women entrepreneurship in the production and processing of organic products, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, is organising an organic food festival here later this month.

The two ministries have signed an MoU to help connect women entrepreneurs in the organic food sector with government schemes and focus on hand-holding initiatives to enable them to become competitive in the global market. The exhibition is being organised under this initiative.

Health awareness

Speaking to reporters, Minister for Food Processing Harsimrat Badal said: “With increasing awareness about health and wellness, the demand for Indian organic products has been growing worldwide. We believe the organic food festival will serve as a platform for women entrepreneurs to showcase their products and enhance direct linkages with buyers. This will also be a platform for them to learn skills to scale up their initiatives and get training to enhance their potential for processing of organic products.”

Nearly 150 women entrepreneurs from various States will be participating in the three-day festival, which will be held from February 21-23, she said. “There are already many government schemes which focus on promoting organic farming and we feel this festival will also grow awareness about organic food products among consumers,” she added.

India has the largest number of organic food producers and is ranked the ninth largest in terms of the land dedicated to organic agriculture. The country produced around 1.70 million tonnes of certified organic food produce in 2017-18, which includes oilseeds, cereals and millets, cotton, pulses, medicinal plants, tea and fruits, among others.

India also exported organic products worth $515 million in 2017-18 to countries such as the US, the EU, Canada, Switzerland, Israel and South Korea.