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India’s organic food products export rises by 51%, Denmark to receive first consignment of millets grown in Himalayas

The Ministry of Commerce & Industry has stated that India’s export of organic food products rose by more than 51% to Rs 7,078 crore during April-February (2020-21) compared to the same period in the previous fiscal (2019-20).

In a major boost to organic products exports from the country, India is set to deliver the first consignment of millets to Denmark which is grown in the Himalayas, from snow-melt water of Ganges in Uttarakhand.

In addition to this, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) in collaboration with Uttarakhand Agriculture Produce Marketing Board (UKAPMB) & Just Organik, an exporter, has started sourcing processed ragi (finger millet), and jhingora (barnyard millet) from farmers in Uttarakhand for exports, which meets the organic certification standards of the European Union.

Increased Organic Farming and its Significance

The exports of Uttrakhand Millets to Denmark is crucial to expand export opportunities in European countries wherein, India has already been supplying organic food products to Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Switzerland, Israel, and South Korea.

The increase in organic exports would also support thousands of farmers across the nation that are recently getting into organic farming. Millets, in particular, are gaining a lot of popularity globally because they are gluten-free and have high nutritive values.

Meanwhile, India’s export of organic food products rose by more than 51% to Rs 7,078 crore ($ 1040 million) during April-February (2020-21) compared to the same period in the previous fiscal.

As per the Ministry of Commerce & Industry’s press release, in terms of quantity, the exports of organic food products grew by 39% to 888,179 metric tonnes (MT) during April-February (2020-21) compared to 638,998 MT shipped in April- February (2020-21).
“This growth in organic products has been achieved despite logistical and operational challenges posed by the COVID19 pandemic,” the release stated.

Whats and Wheres of Indian Organic Food Product Exports

At present, India exports Oil cake meal as one of the major commodities of organic products, followed by oilseeds, fruit pulps and purees, cereals & millets, spices, tea, medicinal plant products, dry fruits, sugar, pulses, coffee, essential oil etc. So far, India’s organic products have been exported to 58 countries including the USA, European Union, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Switzerland, Israel and South Korea.

The National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) has set certain standard requirements for the export of Organic products based on production, processing, packaging and label. The NPOP has been implemented by APEDA since its inception in 2001 as notified under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulations) Act, 1992.

The European Union and Switzerland have recognized NPOP certification which enables India to export unprocessed plant products to these countries without the requirement of additional certification. “NPOP also facilitates the export of Indian organic products to the United Kingdom even in the post Brexit phase,” states the Ministry of Commerce.

The Food Safety Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) has also recognised NPOP For the trade of organic products in the domestic markets. Organic products which are covered under the bilateral agreement with NPOP have liberty for import in India without any recertification.

The Organic Food Product Exports is set to get higher given the trade negotiations that are underway between major importing countries such as Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Australia, UAE, and New Zealand, for achieving Mutual Recognition Agreements for exports of organic products from India.

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