When it comes to health, we all are aware of the food that we intake. Or, are we? In this fast paced life, most of the people are relying on fast food and artificial inorganic foods. This is ruining our health. So, what is the solution? We can turn towards organic food consumption to stop our health become the victim of chemicals. Organic foods are the foods that are prepared, farmed or grown without the use of any artificial chemicals. In recent past, India has seen a good growth in organic food production and consumption. However, the rate is still slow and need to get improved.
Organic food production in India
Organic foods are produced without the use of any chemicals or pesticides, and these have no harmful effect on the health. It is grown under the agricultural process that is responsible for the social and environmental well being. The process includes the preservation of reproductive and regenerative properties of the soil, plant nutrition planning, soil management and so on to produce plants with great nutritious values. Moreover, organic farming contributes 25% or greenhouse gas emissions. So, organic farming also can be adapted to fight against the rising pollution all over the world.
During the 2015 – 2016 financial year, India have produced 1.35 Million Metric Tons of certified organic food products and exported around 263687 Metric Tons of organic products which sum up around 290 Million USD.
India has large organic food production in the form of oil seeds, tea, spices, coffee, vegetables, dry fruits, cotton, etc.
Organic food consumption in India
The current growth in the organic food production and consumption in India is due to the changing lifestyle, health consciousness, better availability of organic food products in supermarkets and malls. Currently, India is seeing a steady growth of 25-30% in organic food consumption, and it is expected to grow higher in coming years. The government has taken initiatives to improve organic farming by implementing better policies. It is inspiring better health and lifestyle of common people of India.
In 2002-2003 the production of organic food was around 14,000 MT, and the exported organic food figure was 11,925 MT, which is 85% of the total production of organic food. Whereas, in 2015-2016 the production of organic food was 1.35 million MT and the export of the same was around 0.26 million MT, which is only the 19.26% of the production. It shows the increasing demand for organic food in the domestic market of India. Even the data shows that the growth rate of domestic consumption is way above than the growth rate of export.
In early 2000, proper certification method of organic food production was implemented, and that skyrocketed the production and consumption since then. A survey showed that 82% of Indian households pointed towards health concerns for their decision to start consuming organic foods. 58% of citizens have explained that the lack of chemicals and practices are the reasons they buy more organic foods. 64% have pointed that, earlier, organic food was priced much higher and were less available on the domestic market which was the reason of less consumption of organic products.
This limited availability of organic products are countered by the rapid growth in production and also the government initiative to educate people about this. However, there is still a huge number which has little to no knowledge about organic foods and its benefits. Awareness campaigns held by many government organizations and NGOs are rapidly taking place to educate people, and it can be assumed that as more people get aware of organic farming and organic foods, there will be a further rise of organic food consumption in India.
If the proper certification process is taken place, the profit from organic farming can go up to 38%. Currently, the certification process is tiresome and also costs around 20,000 to 30,000 INR depending on the size of the land. This, in fact, demoralizing the farmers. If the certification cost gets reduced by a good margin, more and more farmer will join this quest.