‘I want to have my own start up’. Does this sound familiar. Of course!
Every college student secretly dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.
But how to become one? If you are fishing for ideas, here is an easy solution – Organic farming.
The need for organic farm produce is growing in India and across the world.
The total volume of export during 2019-20 was 6.389 lakh MT. The organic food export realization was around INR 4,686 crore (689 million USD). Organic products are exported to USA, European Union, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, Israel, UAE, New Zealand, Vietnam etc.
There is more potential to grow and the government is spending crores of rupees to promote organic farming. According to a study, India’s organic food market has the potential to grow more than 25% annually.
Before we go to the details, let’s take a quick look at the current “organic” market in India.
- The market is growing at 25-30 per cent at present. And has more potential to grow.
- The government is spending crores of rupees to promote organic farming sector.
- India is capable of growing all kinds of organic foods due to its favourable climatic conditions.
- Organic farming improves farm income.
- This method of farming protects both land and water resources.
- Cultivable land area under organic farming has more than doubled from 11.83 lakh ha in 2014 to 29.17 lakh ha in 2020 due to the focused efforts of the Government.
- At more than a million, the country also had the most number of organic farmers — over a third of the nearly 2.8 million across the world.
- Madhya Pradesh tops the list with 0.76 million ha of area under organic cultivation — that is over 27 per cent of India’s total organic cultivation area.
- Sikkim is the only Indian state to have become fully organic so far.
WHAT IS ORGANIC FARMING?
Organic farming is a specific production system that aims to avoid the use of synthetic and harmful pesticides, fertilizers, growth regulators, and livestock feed additives. In this method, farmers use agricultural methods that preserve the environment and avoid synthetic farming and agricultural materials.
HOW ORGANIC FARMING WORKS?
Almost all organic farming systems rely on alternative farming methods, such as crop rotation, mechanical cultivation, animal manures, green manure, and integrated pest management to maintain healthy soil, grow healthy plants, and control pests and weeds.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES FOR ORGANIC PRODUCERS
Many consumers are turning to organic products to support a healthier lifestyle. Hence, organic farmers can collect a greater share of consumers’ food spending.
Research shows that organic consumers are willing to pay a higher price for safer, higher quality organic products.
There are many easy and low-cost ways to market organic products, including the local farmers’ markets, co-ops, supermarkets, restaurants, have exclusive shops at malls, schools, and online. In this digital age, one can use online and social media marketing to attract health-conscious consumers.
You can also export your organic produce as the demand is huge. According to Market Research, it is estimated that Global Organic Food and Beverages Market will reach USD 323.56 Billion by 2024.
INTERESTING FACTS ON ORGANIC FARMING
The first scientific approach to organic farming dates back to the Vedas of the later Vedic period. The essence of this ancient method of farming is to live in harmony with, rather than exploit, Mother Nature.
There is brief mention of several organic inputs in our ancient literatures like Rigveda, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Kautilya Arthasashthra etc.
In fact, organic agriculture has its roots in Indian traditional agricultural practices that evolved in countless village’s and farming communities over the millennium.
HOW TO BECOME CERTIFIED ORGANIC?
A trademark – “India Organic” is granted on the basis of compliance with the National Standards for Organic Production (NSOP).
India Organic Certification is a label given to organic products after validation, which ensures that the product or raw materials used in the product were grown through organic farming – without any chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or induced hormones.
The certification is issued by testing centers accredited by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), under the National Program for Organic Production of the Government of India.
WHAT IS THE COST OF THIS LABEL?
The total cost of this label will be calculated depending on application fee, site inspection fee and an annual certification fee.