India’s Organic Food Market Is Growing At 17% Annually, Says Harsimrat Kaur Badal
Bunches of organic bananas sit on display in the fresh food section in London, U.K. Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

India’s Organic Food Market Is Growing At 17% Annually, Says Harsimrat Kaur Badal

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India’s organic food market is growing at 17 percent 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 Smriti Irani jointly inaugurated an organic food festival for women entrepreneurs at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

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 and cooperatives are taking part in this three-day exhibition organised in the national capital during Feb. 21-23.

Addressing the event, Badal said the two ministries had 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 was to make it an international exhibition in the near future. The entire world, according to her, is looking towards organic and wellness food, required for both physical and mental health.

“In organic and health foods, India is a power house,” Badal said, adding there are many parts of India that 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.

Earlier this month, Badal had said the organic food market would touch Rs 75,000 crore in the next five years. According to her, food processing, value addition and organic food would be instrumental in the government’s target to double farmers’ income.

Irani said the government had ensured that women entrepreneurs get Mudra loans to start their venture. Foreign direct investment in the food processing sector has increased substantially under the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said.

The government is providing sustainable environment not only to farmers but also to entrepreneurs by engaging them with latest technology in food processing, the Irani said, stressing 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 Subrahmanyam highlighted that India is ranked number one in organic producers and ninth in area under cultivation for organic products.

The country produced around 1.7 million tonnes of certified organic products in 2017-18. It exported organic products worth $515 million in the same year.

To boost organic products and women entrepreneurship, the two ministries had signed a memorandum of understanding last year to help them connect with the government’s financial schemes.

The overall effort is targeted towards strengthening organic branding for India by enhancing direct linkage of local producers with buyers as well as boosting processing potential of organic output.

During the festival, training programmes will be organised for women entrepreneurs in the area of packaging, storage, marketing, innovations on renewable energy, food safety regulations and organic certifications.

Also read: Food Waste Is Worse Than We Thought and the Rich May Be to Blame

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