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Parliament Panel calls for Organic Production Zones, e-Organic Bazar to boost exports

Parliament Panel calls for  Organic Production Zones, e-Organic Bazar to boost exports

New Delhi, Dec 12 (UNI) Expressing concern over the meagre share of India in the global organic trade despite having the highest number of organic farmers and the 9th largest area in the world under organic farming, a Parliamentary Panel strongly recommended setting up of demarcated Organic Production Zones (OPZ) and implementation of e-Organic Bazar Portal to boost organic exports from the country and to ensure remunerative price to the farmers.

Referring to the huge potential for organic exports from the country, the Committee strongly recommended setting up of demarcated Organic Production Zones (OPZ) with the required processing facilities and other necessary infrastructure to boost production of value-added organic products to increase exports exponentially since value-added organic products fetch a higher premium in global market.

Taking serious note of lack of effective market linkages resulting in low prices for organic products, the Committee advocated immediate launch and implementation of e-Organic Bazar Portal to enable an expanded and assured market for organic products benefitting the farmers.

The Committee also recommended building up market intelligence to remove impediments being faced by the exporters in procurement of organic products from the farmers and processors.

To expand the area under organic farming, the Parliament Panel favoured incentives for developing required infrastructure, setting up of processing units and acquisition of certification equipment. Lauding Sikkim for totally going organic, the Committee recommended that farmers of the State be given the amount saved on the subsidies offered on chemical fertilizers and urea by way of subsidies on key inputs like bio-fertilizers and organic manure to cut cost of production of organic products.

Noting that the North-East has the potential to emerge as the organic hub of the country, the Panel called for creation of robust value chain and financial support for organic farmers in the region.

It said that other hilly, tribal and border areas besides arid zones need to be focused to incentivize organic farming. The Panel recommended organizing organic farmers into clusters to enhance their bargaining power.

Taking note of various schemes under which organic farming is being encouraged, the Committee called for a comprehensive and inclusive policy framework to enable focused efforts for expansion of organic farming in the country for addressing infrastructure deficit related to organic farming besides evolving uniform standards across the country and creating wide network of certification agencies for affordable certification.

Stressing on quality and credibility of organic products as critical for boosting exports through positive perception, the Committee suggested creation of effective ‘organic product brands’ to prevent spurious fly by night exporters from exporting poor quality products.

The Committee noted that “Indian organic market is highly unorganised offering no proper marketing linkages to organic farmers. The lack of a steady and sustainable market along with poor linkages is a major challenge to organic farmers for getting a fair and remunerative price for their produce.”

The 31-member Department Related Standing Committee on Commerce headed by Rajya Sabha member V Vijayasai Reddy presented it’s Report on ‘Export of Organic Products : Challenges and Opportunities’ to Rajya Sabha.

Global organic trade has increased in the last 20 years from USD 15 billion to USD 90 billion. India is the second largest exporter of organic products in Asia after China with oil cake or meal and oil seeds being the lead export items.


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