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India plans expansion of NPOP organic certification

Nov '19
Pic: Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)
Pic: Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)
To boost export of organic products, the Indian government plans to expand its existing certification to textile, cosmetics and Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) products, Paban K Borthakur, chairman of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) recently said at a trade fair.

Organic foods are certified now through APEDA’s National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) under the commerce ministry and the Participatory Guarantee System for India of the agriculture ministry.

NPOP, the world's largest organic certification programme launched in 2001, now proposes to enter organic AYUSH products, organic textiles and organic cosmetics, Borthakur said after inaugurating the global trade fair on organic products 'Biofach India' in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

Since 2006, the NPOP has been recognised by the European Union and Switzerland. India has a similar agreement with the United States, a news agency report quoted him as saying.

As a result of these agreements, Indian organic products are being exported to these countries without the need for re-certification, he said in a statement.

India exported 6.14 lakh tonnes of organic food products valuing ₹5,151 crore in 2018-19 to countries such as the United States, the European Union, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Vietnam, New Zealand and Japan, he added.

According to APEDA, India produced around 2.67 million tonnes of certified organic products in 2018-19. The production is not limited to the edible sector but also extends to organic cotton fibre and functional food products.

Total area under organic certification process (registered under National Programme for Organic Production) was 3.56 million hectare till March 2019. This includes 1.94 million hectare cultivable area and another 1.49 million hectare for wild harvest collection.

Among states, Madhya Pradesh has covered 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 76,000 hectares) under organic certification.

As per the industry estimates, India's organic agricultural products market is about ₹8,500 crore and exports account for nearly 60 per cent.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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