2. Name of the student:
Board Roll Number:
I, _______________________, of class
XII of Sachdeva Public School (Rohini),
do hereby declare that this project is my
I extend my appreciation and gratitude
to my Economics teacher, Ms. Bharti
Chawla, for her wholehearted support
and guidance for the successful
completion of the project.
Name of the student:
This is to certify that the project entitled
______________________is an authentic
work carried out under my supervision as
part of the CBSE curriculum of class XII
Economics and that it is as per the
guidelines issued by CBSE. To the best of
my knowledge, the project is original and a
bonafide work undertaken by ________ .
Name of Economics Teacher :
VII. NEED OF ORGANIC FARMING IN INDIA
IX. ADVANTAGES OF ORGANIC FARMING IN INDIA
X. DISADVANTAGES OF ORGANIC FARMING
XI. CASE STUDY ON SIKKIM
ii. JOURNEY OF ORGANIC FARMER IN SIKKIM
iii. ACROSS THE FINISH LINE
iv. HOW OT BECAME?
XII. Transitional Problems that Occur with Organic Farming
XIII. NATIONAL PROJECT ON ORGANIC FARMING
XIV. EXPORT OF ORGANIC PRODUCTS : OPPORTUNITIES AND
ii. THE WORLD OF ORGANIC AGRICULTURE
iii. SIGNIFICANCE OF ORGANIC AGRICULTURE FOR INDIAN
FARMERS IN THE INDIAN CONTEXT
iv. GLOBAL MARKET
v. INDIAN DOMESTIC MARKET AND EXPORT
vi. PRODUCTS FOR WHICH INDIAN PRODUCTION HAS
vii. DEMAND FOR INDIAN ORGANIC PRODUCTS IN THE
DOMESTIC AND EXPORT MARKETS
viii. OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
Organic farming is an agricultural system which originated early in the 20th
century in reaction to rapidly changing farming practices. Certified organic
agriculture accounts for 70 million hectares globally, with over half of that total
in Australia. Organic farming continues to be developed by various
organizations today. It is defined by the use of fertilizers of organic origin such
as compost manure, green manure, and bone meal and places emphasis on
techniques such as crop rotation and companion planting. Biological pest
control, mixed cropping and the fostering of insect predators are encouraged.
Organic standards are designed to allow the use of naturally occurring
substances while prohibiting or strictly limiting synthetic substances. For
instance, naturally occurring pesticides such as pyrethrin and rotenone are
permitted, while synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are generally prohibited.
Synthetic substances that are allowed include, for example, copper sulfate,
elemental sulfur and Ivermectin. Genetically modified organisms,
nanomaterials, human sewage sludge, plant growth regulators, hormones, and
antibiotic use in livestock husbandry are prohibit. Organic farming advocates
claim advantages in sustainability openness, self-sufficiency,
autonomy/independence, health, food security, and food safety.
Organic agricultural methods are internationally regulated and legally enforced
by many nations, based in large part on the standards set by the International
Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), an international
umbrella organization for organic farming organizations established in 1972
Organic agriculture can be defined as "an integrated farming system that
strives for sustainability, the enhancement of soil fertility and biological
diversity while, with rare exceptions, prohibiting synthetic pesticides,
antibiotics, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, and growth
Since 1990, the market for organic food and other products has grown rapidly,
reaching $63 billion worldwide in 2012. This demand has driven a similar
increase in organically managed farmland that grew from 2001 to 2011 at a
compounding rate of 8.9% per annum. As of 2019, approximately 72,300,000
hectares (179,000,000 acres) worldwide were farmed organically, representing
approximately 1.5 percent of total world farmland.
Agriculture was practiced for thousands of years without the use of artificial
chemicals. Artificial fertilizers were first created during the mid-19th century.
These early fertilizers were cheap, powerful, and easy to transport in bulk.
Similar advances occurred in chemical pesticides in the 1940s, leading to the
decade being referred to as the 'pesticide era'. These new agricultural
techniques, while beneficial in the short term, had serious longer term side
effects such as soil compaction, erosion, and declines in overall soil fertility,
along with health concerns about toxic chemicals entering the food supply. In
the late 1800s and early 1900s, soil biology scientists began to seek ways to
remedy these side effects while still maintaining higher production. The
concepts of organic agriculture were developed in the early 1900s by Sir
Albert Howard, F.H. King, Rudolf Steiner, and others who believed that the use
of animal manures (often made into compost), cover crops, crop rotation, and
biologically based pest controls resulted in a better farming system. Howard,
having worked in India as an agricultural researcher, gained much inspiration
from the traditional and sustainable farming practices he encountered there
and advocated for their adoption in the West. Such practices were further
promoted by various advocates—such as J.I. Rodale and his son Robert, in the
1940s and onward, who published Organic Gardening and Farming magazine
and a number of texts on organic farming. The demand for organic food was
stimulated in the 1960s by the publication of Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson,
which documented the extent of environmental damage caused by
insecticides. Organic food sales increased steadily from the late 20th century.
Greater environmental awareness, coupled with concerns over the health
impacts of pesticide residues and consumption of genetically modified (GMO)
crops, fostered the growth of the organic sector. In the United States, retail
sales increased from $20.39 billion in 2008 to $47.9 billion in 2019, while sales
in Europe reached more than $37 billion (€34.3 billion euros) in 2017. The
price of organic food is generally higher than that of conventionally grown
food. Depending on the product, the season, and the vagaries of supply and
demand, the price of organic food can be anywhere from less than 10 percent
below to more than 100 percent above that of conventionally grown produce.
Organic agriculture is defined formally by governments.Farmers must be
certified for their produce and products to be labeled “organic,” and there
are specific organic standards for crops, animals, and wild-crafted products
and for the processing of agricultural products. Organic standards in the
European Union (EU) and the United States, for example, prohibit the use of
synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, ionizing radiation, sewage sludge, and
genetically engineered plants or products. In the EU, organic certification and
inspection is carried out by approved organic control bodies according to EU
standards. Organic farming has been defined by the National Organic
Standards of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) since 2000, and there
are many accredited organic certifiers across the country. Although most
countries have their own programs for organic certification, certifiers in the
EU or the United States can inspect and certify growers and processors for
NEED OF ORGANIC FARMING IN INDIA
The inability of Indian Agriculture to meet the growing demand of food
immediately after Independence was a matter of concern at those times.
The method of our agriculture was based on traditional knowledge and
practices which was unable to suffice the increasing demand of food
produce for terribly increasing population generation by generation.
11. Indian Agriculture truly needed the modern methods of agriculture that
another developed countries uses to grow enough produce to meet their
growing demand of food and export to other countries. So, India also
started adopting the modern global techniques of agriculture to grow
enough produce for rapidly increasing population. The rapid adoption of
modern tools and techniques of agriculture in India on a large scale
encouraged the “The Green Revolution” which changed India from a
larger food Importing to a big food Exporting nation. When we adopted
western techniques to produce more it also encouraged people to use
chemicals and fertilizers for growing more and more which started
impacting our environment and well-being of the people. This modern
techniques from the west started showing huge instability in our
Ecosystem and once again the need for an appropriate method suitable to
our environment is a matter of concern.
The practice of Organic Farming became best known alternative to the
conventional which suffered with sick effect of chemical agriculture.
However Organic Farming is based on identical principal to our traditional
agriculture. But it aims at the human welfare without any harmful effect to
our environment which is the foundation of human life primarily.
There are following primary reasons which encourages to adopt Organic
Farming in India.
1. India is one of the sufferers of the conventional farming system.
12. 2. Organic Farming is environment friendly farming practices.
3. The current farming products caused several health issues by the
consumption of contaminated food products.
4. The modern agriculture method caused damage to environmental
and human life directly due to excess use of additives like chemical
and pesticides during farming.
5. The demand for organic food products are increasing in India
because people are choosing better health and environment rather
than choosing the ill effect of the current farming food products.
The conventional farming had supported India in both producing surplus
food for our own consumption as well as producing enough for exports.
However, rapid soaring population led to further increasing demand for
food. The modern farming system is becoming more unsustainable as
produce outcome is declining in crop productivity, chemical contamination
and damage to the environment etc. The need of having an elective
technique for horticulture which can work in an agreeable Eco-framework
while supporting and expanding the yield profitability is acknowledged at
this moment and Organic Farming is accepted as the best known
alternative to the conventional modern agriculture.
The fundamental features of organic farming are based on
maintaining a natural system that includes: natural livestock and
crop production through submission to an organic system plan; a
detailed record-keeping system for all the products from the point
of production to consumption; and use of buffer zones to prevent
synthetic chemicals from accidentally contaminating the
bordering conventional farms. Detailed discussions are listed
14. 1. Natural Livestock and Poultry Production
By natural production, it means raising livestock and poultry for the
production of their products such as meat, eggs, and dairy by
providing natural living conditions and feeds. Any forms of
hormones, antibiotics, and medications are unacceptable, especially
if used for promoting growth and productivity.
Feeds have to be organic, and livestock has to be pastured. Farm
features such as using livestock for plowing, hauling, fuel, and even
recycling their waste for manure are key aspects of organic farming.
The control of parasites and diseases is accomplished through
preventative measures such as a balanced diet, sanitary housing,
rotational grazing, and stress reduction.
2. Natural Crop Production
Natural crop production encompasses crop diversity and organic
systems for enhancing crop fertility as well as controlling pests,
weeds and diseases. Organic farming requires a variety of crops that
can support numerous and different types of beneficial soil
15. microorganisms, insects, and promotes overall soil management for
improved farm productivity.
3. Organic Weed and Pest Control
Weed and pest management is to be done without the use of
synthetic herbicides or pesticides, respectively. Control measures
should be through flame weeding, mechanical tillage, mulching, use
of cover crops, crop rotation, mechanical tillage and hand weeding.
Organic farming also needs to depend on beneficial predatory
insects, beneficial soil microorganisms, companion cropping, birds,
proper sanitation, and crop rotation for pest control.
In extreme cases of pest infestation, farmers can implement
measures such as the use of barriers and traps, mating disruption,
biological pesticides, and insect predators. Soil biota, building soil
structure, use of compost, and biologically based soil amendments
are utilized to promote healthy plants that are tolerant and resist
diseases. Botanical measures can also be used to control diseases.
16. 4. Soil Management
Organic farming extensively relies on nourishing the soil naturally by
using compost, natural mineral powders and green manure. Crop
rotation, inter-cropping and minimal tillage are also used to improve
soil fertility, structure, and water holding capacity in organic farming.
As a result, it helps to support the soil microbial activities that
17. transform and release soil nutrients.
5. Buffer Zones and Record-Keeping
Submission to an organic system plan is a key feature of organic
farming. It requires the practice of buffering between organic farms
and adjacent conventional farms. Keeping records of the entire farm
activities is as well a necessity to ensure standard organic farming
practice. It ensures proper sanitation, quality monitoring system for
pests, parasites, diseases and productivity, and farm integrity.
6. Maintaining Ecological Balance
Organic farming is modeled on living ecological systems. Organic
farming methods must fit the ecological balances and cycles in
nature. It should be practiced in a careful and responsible manner to
benefit the present and future generations and the environment. The
attention must be on the impact of the farming system on the wider
environment and the conservation of wildlife and natural habitats.
Organic farming boosts biodiversity, which enhances productivity
and resilience and contributes to a healthy farming system.
7. Maintaining Fairness
Organic farming maintains fairness by maintaining equity and justice
of the shared planet, both among humans and other living beings.
Organic farming provides a good quality of life and helps in reducing
18. poverty. Natural resources are judiciously used and preserved for
Advantages of Organic Farming
1. No Poison Is Always Great
Organic farming does not use any type of harmful chemicals to keep pests
away, unlike the majority of industrial farming. They use all natural methods
that do not harm the consumer or the environment that they are grown in.
Herbicides, pesticides, and artificial growth hormones are all forbidden on an
2. Closely Regulated
In order for a food to be labeled as organic, the entire process of which is was
created is thoroughly investigated. The organic food industry is internationally
regulated, which means that organic means the same standards where
followed, no matter where in the world it was made. This helps the consumers
to know that they are truly getting what they think that they are.
3. Better Taste and More Nutrition
Fruits and vegetables that are organically raised have a much better taste than
other mechanically farmed ones. This is due to the fact that they are given a
much longer time to develop and are not pumped with artificial things. The
sugar structures in these crops have more time to mature and develop into a
tasty and nutritious product.
4. Costs Are Lowered
There is a deep stigma around anything organic that it had to have cost an arm
and a leg to cultivate. This is actually the opposite of the truth. When you cut out
the time that is spent to farm organic crops, the actual costs are minimal. These
farmers do not have to shell out large amounts of money for expensive
chemicals and massive amounts of water, unlike industrial farmers.
5. The Environment Doesn’t Suffer
Another thing that benefits from the use of organic farming is the environment!
In industrial farms, the chemicals that are used are seep into the ground and
contaminate the soil and local water sources. Humans, animals, and plant life
are all affected negatively by this. With organic farming, there are no
chemicals used, so no pollution occurs either.
20. Disadvantages of Organic Farming
1. It’s a Whole Lot More Work
It takes a whole lot of hard work to successfully grow crops organically. There
is a high amount of farmer interaction time with their crops. Whether it be to
ensure that the plants remain pest free in an organic way, or to act as weed
prevention, the time required is significantly higher than plants and crops
2. The Consumer Pays The Price
Organic foods in the supermarket are infamously higher than others. This is
one of the biggest reasons that people do not fully support the use of organic
farming, and not nearly enough people are enjoying the great benefits that it
could bring. For example, a pound of non organic red peppers cost right
around $2.76, while a pound of organic red peppers run a whopping $5.89!
That’s double the price!
3. Cross Breeding Happens
GMO crops, also known as genetically modified crops, are plants whose DNA
structure have been altered. These seeds, once planted, create GMO crops.
These crops then produce seeds and the patter continues. It is very difficult to
truly tell if an organic seed has not been affected by GMO’s in anyway. This
cross breeding could completely wipe out the idea of organic and non GMO
crops very soon.
21. CASE STUDY ON SIKKIM
Sikkim is known to the fully organic state since 2016, its products are being sold in the
organic markets of the Sikkim and as well in the foreign country as the export. The life of
people is far better than the past life how they were living while cultivating the conventional
farming. Around the 50% increment in the number of tourist who visits the state, it is
indirectly improving the life of native people there. Initially farmers were having the fear of
adoption of organic farming to due various reasons like low yield, sensitive to plant disease,
insect sensitive and crop failure etc.
JOURNEY OF ORGANIC FARMING IN SIKKIM
From the 2003, the revolution had started with target of achieving the fully organic
state as soon as possible. So the Government official went to the farmers through the
extension workers to spread the organic farming knowledge and target achievement by the
state. Farmers were asked to join the training by the scientists and also sent outside the state
to adopt the much better skill from that other states and country. In 2010, the Sikkim organic
mission started to increase the pace of organic farming in state. In the 2016 the state could
achieve the 100% organic state.
ACROSS THE FINISH LINE
The process of converting Sikkim into a 100 per cent organic state was fast-tracked
in 2010 with the launch of the Sikkim Organic Mission
2003- Sikkim begins discouraging use of chemical fertilizers, reduces fertilizer
subsidy by 10 per cent and the Sikkim Organic Board is constituted.
2003-2009 - State adopts 396 villages as bio-villages to test organic inputs.
2006-2009 - About 8,000 ha of land is certified as organic.
Eight units of vermi-culture hatcheries are established in five state farms and three
Krishi Vigyan Kendras.
2008-09 - Ginger processing unit is established at Birdang Farm, West Sikkim.
Ginger is one of the four high-value crops selected by Sikkim for its trade potential
2010 - Sikkim Organic Mission is launched to fast-track conversion of Sikkim into a
100 per cent organic state
22. 2010-11 - More than 18,234 ha of land is certified. Automated greenhouses are
established for production of disease-free quality planting material.
2011-12 - 19,216 ha land is certified.
2012-13 - 19,188 ha land is certified. `Organic farming' is included in school
2015 - Entire agricultural area in the state is converted to `certified organic'.
2016 - Sikkim is formally declared a `100 per cent organic' state.
HOW IT BECAME?
In 2003, Sikkim decided to adopt the resolution to switch the organic farming. At that
time people were not ready for this drastic move by state. So, policies phased out the
chemical fertilizers and pesticides from the state. Achieved the total ban on the sale of the
chemical fertilizer and pesticides and due to this move the farmers of the state bound to adopt
the organic farming. The Sikkim Organic Mission in 2010, backed by government funding,
supported this initiative by providing seeds and manure, training farmers in organic methods
and even sending them outside the state for advanced training. The government initiated
further infrastructural measures such as building bio fertilizer units, seed processing units and
soil testing labs; enabling the organic cycle to bloom. Farmers have also been facilitated in
receiving loans as well as being provided counseling support by the agricultural department.
Start-ups like Organic Sikkim have also helped farmers find markets for their produce,
eliminating middlemen and resulting in higher profits.
Even India’s budget for 2016–17 introduced various measures to increase crop yields and
boost organic farming. These include increasing the area of land to be brought under organic
farming to half a million acres and launching a scheme to push sales of organic produce in both domestic and
export markets. Also the undulating land mass of the state made the farmers to adopt this system
Sikkim’s transition to an organic state is good for public health and the environment in the area. It’s also good for the
economy. Tourism to the area is also increasing and bringing in more money. Guests can stay in organic villages,
where they are able to enjoy the abundant natural beauty and eat fresh, organic meals. Sikkim organic retail stores
offering pulses, rice, mandarin oranges, ginger, cardamom, and turmeric have been set up by the government in New
Delhi. More stores are planned for other major cities. Due to the surge in demand for Sikkim’s organic produce,
farmers are now earning 20%more.
23. Transitional Problems that Occur With Organic Farming
When changing from using conventional farming techniques to organic
methods, it can take a while for the soil to adjust to the loss of chemical
nourishment. Soil goes through both biological and chemical changes
when the transition from chemical to organic fertilizer is made, and it
can take the soil quite a while to adjust. Because of this, plants often go
through a few cycles of poor yields before producing at peak capacity
when transitioning from chemical based fertilizers to organic nutrition.
The best way to mitigate problems that might arise is to follow a sound nutrient
management program. It's important to think about proper soil nutrition and the
effects of changing from chemical to organic plant nutrition long before crop
production season arrives.
When transitioning away from depending on specially formulated chemical
fertilizers for plant nutrition, it's necessary for farmers to focus attention on
making sure their crops get the nutrients they need to survive, grow, and flourish.
Soil testing can be the best way to learn exactly the types of nourishment necessary
for your particular plot of land. Testing the soil at least once each year provides
valuable information that can help you decide exactly what type of fertilizer should
be added in order to produce the desired results.
Additional nutrient management techniques include:
• Crop rotation
• Work manure into soil a season in advance of crop production
• Plant cover crops between growing seasons
• Implement measures to reduce water runoff
• Take steps to limit the occurrence of erosion
Using "green" manure as a fertilizer can result in the transmission of various types
of diseases into the food supply. E.coli and other pathogens are often present in
manure. When fresh manure containing disease-causing bacteria is used to fertilize
plants, the pathogens can be transmitted to the plants and the crops they produce.
It is essential to make sure manure ages sufficiently before using it as plant food.
Using green manure to fertilize plants isn't the only way pathogens can be
transmitted to the food supply. For example, if runoff from fresh manure finds its
way into the water used for irrigation, cross-contamination is highly likely. Poor
hand washing habits among those who work in all aspects of farming and
harvesting can also lead to the transfer of pathogens to produce.
Manure and Compost Storage
24. When it comes to problems that occur when organic farming, issues that arise
related to the manner in which organic fertilizers are stored are among the most
common. Compost and manure are major parts of any effort to grow crops
organically. It is not unusual for organic farmers to store manure from their
livestock or to create their own compost.
If manure and compost piles are stored on soil that has not been properly prepared,
many of the nutrients that make them function effectively as fertilizers are leached
away through the soil, ending up in groundwater supplies rather than being
available for crop nutrition. Manure and compost should be stored only on soil that
has been compacted or cemented, and any sloping should be carefully considered
to prevent contaminated water from running off.
Organic Farming Success
Even though there are a number of problems that occur when organic farming, the
benefits of moving away from using chemical crop nutrition stand on their own
merits. When you're ready to transition to organic farming techniques, it's
important to understand the risks and take steps to avoid them.
National Project on Organic Farming
National Project on Organic Farming (NPOF) is a continuing central sector
scheme since 10th Five Year Plan. Planning Commission approved the
scheme as PILOT project for the remaining two and half years of 10th plan
period with effect from 01.10.2004 with an outlay of Rs. 57.04 crore. The
scheme is continuing in the 12th Plan.
2020-21 Budget Estimates 12.5 crore for National Project on Organic
• Promotion of organic farming in the country through technical capacity
building of all the stakeholders including human resource development,
transfer of technology, promotion and production of quality organic and
• To act as nodal quality control laboratory for analysis of biofertilizers and
organic fertilizers as per the requirement of Fertilizer Control Order, 1985
• Revision of standards and testing protocols keeping in view the advances
in research and technology and bringing remaining organic inputs under
quality control regime.
• To maintain National and Regional culture collection bank of biofertilizer,
biocontrol, organisms for supply to production units, development &
procurement and efficacy evaluation of biofertilizer strains and mother
25. • Organic input resource management, technology development through
support to research and market development.
• Promotion of Organic Farming through low cost certification system
known as “Participatory Guarantee System” (PGS-India).
• To provides financial assistance through NABARD under Capital
Investment Subsidy Scheme (CISS) for Fruit and Vegetable Market
Waste/Agro-waste compost units, Bio-fertilizers/Bio-pesticides
• Awareness creation and publicity through print and electronic media.
• Implementation agencies: Department of Agriculture & Cooperation (DAC), Ministry of Agriculture
through National Centre of Organic Farming, (NCOF) Ghaziabad and its six Regional Centers of Organic Farming
• Financial assistance are provided on the recommendations of Screening Committee duly constituted by the
• Financial assistance for setting up Production and maintenance units are provided as credit linked back ended
subsidy through any commercial/scheduled bank through NABARD. In case of Municipalities, District
Agricultural Council can directly release the funds.
• Capital Investment Subsidy scheme (CISS) for setting up of organic inputs production for Municipalities,
APMCs, Public sector/Private sector companies, fertilizer companies or any individual entrepreneurs.
• Besides four bio-fertilizers viz: Rhizobium, Azotobacter, Azospirillum and PSB and two organic fertilizers: City
Waste Compost and Vermi-compost, there are large numbers of organic inputs being produced and promoted.
• Under the scheme a capacity has also been created for processing of 708 tons of agricultural waste per day in to
compost, 5606 MT of bio-fertilizers and more than 17000 ton of vermiculture and vermicompost. Since the
launch of the scheme, the area under certified organic farming has increased 20 fold from 42000 ha (2003-04) to
865,000 ha (2007-08). The organic food production has increased from 4.09 lakh ton in 2006-07 to 9.02 lakh ton
Specific activities of NCOF
• To collaborate all stakeholders of organic farming in the country and
abroad and act as main information centre on various aspects of organic
• Documentation of indigenous knowledge and practices, compilation of
integrated organic packages and publication of technical literature in all
• Preparation and publication of uniform and authentic training literature
and training course contents.
• Publication of Biofertilizers and Organic Farming Newsletters for national
and international updates on quarterly and half yearly basis.
• To provide necessary technical assistance to production units for quality
production of various organic inputs such as biofertilizers, composts etc.
• To serve as data collection centre for biofertilizers and organic fertilizer
production, biofertilizer and organic fertilizers production units and their
production capacities and for details on total area under certification and
various crops being grown under organic management.
• To maintain National and Regional culture collection bank of biofertilizer
organisms for supply to production units.
26. • Development, procurement and efficacy evaluation of biofertilizer strains
and mother cultures.
• To act as nodal quality control laboratory for analysis of biofertilizers and
organic fertilizers as per the requirement of Fertilizer Control Order.
• To provide all sorts of technical assistance to implementing agencies for
successful implementation of project targets
Export of organic products: Opportunities and
Organic farming is one of the several approaches found to meet the objectives of sustainable agriculture. Organic
agriculture offers trade opportunities for farmers in the developing and developed countries. This market of organic
products is expected to grow globally in the coming years and high growth rates over the medium term (from 10-15
to 25-30%) are expected . This organic market expansion makes it possible for farmers to reap the benefits of a trade
with relatively high price premiums. However, this market is not very well known to most farmers, especially those
living in the developing countries. Furthermore, information about it is not readily available to farmers in the
developing countries. The absence of sufficient technical and market information and financial support also means
that few farmers will risk changing their method of production. In developing countries it is therefore essential for
major key players (e.g. NGOs, farmer organizations, traders, exporters etc.) that promote organic farming to have
upto-date information on the available opportunities (market requirements) and trends of the organic market. One
example is India, a country with a huge number of small farmers who still use traditional methods and do farming
with few agricultural inputs. NGOs that promote organic farming and other organizations support farmers in these
aspects. Niche markets have gradually been created, commonly based on trust and goodwill (formal certification did
not begin until the 1960s and 1970s), and often using novel direct marketing strategies such as box schemes and
community supported agriculture. After many years of consumers having to hunt around for their organic produce
from several suppliers, perhaps directly from the farmer, the task is now a lot easier with specialist food shops and
organic shelf space in supermarkets, in the industrialized world at least. Global links have been forged in all
continents as organic agriculture has been seen to be an effective rural development option. Although the movement
is still regarded with some skepticism the concept of organic farming has strong marketing appeal, growth forecasts
are almost all positive and it has been suggested that the ‘movement’ is now an ‘industry’. Organic agriculture is one
of the fastest growing agribusiness sectors in the world, with double-digit annual grow thin land under organic
cultivation, value of organic produce and number of organic farmers. An organic movement is now emerging in India
on different levels.(producer groups, trainers and advisors, certification bodies and processors and traders).
So dissemination of information about the opportunities and challenges for Indian organic products on the
domestic and international market is of fundamental concern in order to allow continued development of
the organic agriculture movement in this country.
The world of organic agriculture
As per the details released by BioFach 2010 at Nuremburg, the organic agriculture is developing rapidly,
and statistical information is now available from 154 countries of the world. The main results of the latest
global survey on certified organic farming are summarized below:
• 35 million ha of agricultural land is managed organically by almost 1.4 million producers.
• Regions with the largest areas of organically managed agricultural land are Oceania (12.1 million ha),
Europe (8.2 million ha) and Latin America (8.1 million ha)
27. • Countries with the highest number of producers are India (340,000), Uganda (180,000) and Mexico
• About one-third of the world’s organically managed agricultural land (12 million ha) is located in
Significance of organic agriculture for Indian farmers In the
organic farming can be significant in two distinct ways:
1. To increase the efficiency and sustainability of production: Organic farming can help to reduce
production costs (especially where labor is cheap compared to input costs) and to increase or stabilize
yields on marginal soils. This is especially relevant for small holders in marginal areas where Green
Revolution agriculture has lead to a depletion of soil fertility and to high debts because of increase in input
2. To increase product value: In areas where farmers have access to established organic markets within the
country or abroad, products can achieve a higher price compared to the conventional market. Especially in
the trend of decreasing prices for agricultural products, this can be an important way to stabilize or even
According to organic monitor estimates, global sales reached US $ 50.9 billion in 2008, doubling in value
from US $ 25 billion in 2003. Consumer demand for organic products is concentrated in North America and
Europe; these two regions comprise 97% of global revenues. Asia, Latin America and Australasia are
important producers and exporters of organic foods. The financial crises have had a negative impact on the
global market for organic products; however, preliminary research finds that growth continued in 2009
despite the poor economic climate.
Indian domestic market and export
Organic Food Consumption in India is on the Rise. Some people believe that organic food is only a
“concept” popular in the developed countries. They think that when it comes to organic food, India only
exports organic food and very little is consumed. However, this is not true. Though 50% of the organic food
production in India is targeted towards exports, there are many who look towards organic food for
domestic consumption. The most important reason for buying organic food is the concern for the health of
children, with over 66 percent parents preferring organic food to non-organic food. Though organic food is
priced over 25 percent more than conventional food in India, many parents are willing to pay this higher
premium due to the perceived health benefits of organic food. The increase in organic food consumption
in India is evident from the fact that many organic food stores are spurring up in India. Today every
supermarket has an organic food store and every large city in India has numerous organic food stores and
restaurants. This is a huge change considering that the first organic food store in Mumbai was started in
1997. Organic food exports from India are increasing with more farmers shifting to organic farming. With
the domestic consumption being low, the prime market for Indian organic food industry lies in the US and
Europe. India has now become a leading supplier of organic herbs, organic spices, organic basmati rice, etc.
The increasing demand for organic food products in the developed countries and the extensive support by
the Indian government coupled with its focus on agri-exports are the drivers for the Indian organic food
industry. Organic food products in India are priced about 20-30% higher than non-organic food products.
28. This is a very high premium for most of the Indian population where the per capita income is merely USD
800. The domestic market is not sufficient to consume the entire organic food produced in the country. As
a result, exports of organic food is the prime aim of organic farmers as well as the government.
Products for which Indian production has a comparative
India being a country with different agro-climatic zones, each state produces its own specialty products.
Products for which production in India has a comparative advantage are given in the table below:
29. Demand for Indian organic products in the domestic and
The domestic market for organic products is as yet not as developed as the export market. The products
available in the domestic market in organic quality are rice, wheat, cotton, tea, coffee, pulses, fruits and
vegetables. Wholesalers / traders and supermarkets play major roles in the distribution of organic
products. As most organic production originates from small farmers, wholesalers / traders account for a
60% share in the distribution of organic products. Large organized producers distribute their products
through supermarkets as well as through self-owned stalls. Considering the profile of existing consumers of
organic products, supermarkets and restaurants are the major marketing channels for organic products.
Major markets for organic products lie in metropolitan cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore
and Hyderabad to name a few. According to the interview results, domestic sales of organic products are
barely 7.5% of the organic production.
Indian organic producers and exporters are well aware of the demand for organic products in developed
countries. Products available for the export market are rice, wheat, tea, spices, coffee, pulses, fruits &
vegetables, cashew nuts, cotton, oil seeds and medicinal herbs. The channels adopted for the export of
organic products, except for tea, are mainly through export companies. Organic tea is produced by major
well organized tea estates which are exporting tea directly. In the case of other organic products,
predominantly small farmers are involved in producing organic products. Hence, these products are
exported through exporters. Organic products are mainly exported to the following countries (in order of
• Europe: Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland,
• France, Italy, Spain;
• Americas: USA, Canada;
• Middle East: Saudi Arabia, UAE;
• Asia: Japan, Singapore;
30. • Australia;
• Africa: South Africa.
Opportunities and Challenges
Organic farming has attracted considerable attention from those who see it as a panacea to those who see
it as ideological nonsense. A more humble responsibility for the organic movement may be to serve as role
model for a farming system in which values other than financial are cultivated. Organic farming asks how
we ought to relate to each other and our natural environment. The values of the organic movement are
not esoteric, but are based on observation and common sense: treat livestock well, use resources
sparingly, use the least harmful method, nature is inherently valuable and so on. Food security depends
upon personal relationships of integrity and trust among farmers, farm workers, suppliers, consumers and
others up and down the agricultural supply chain and integrity and trust have been fundamental to organic
agriculture’s success. Organic farming has emerged as one of the best known alternative farming systems
developed in response to the short comings of mainstream agriculture. Many of the key benefits and
opportunities for organic agriculture are suitable areas for the organic movement to show leadership and
innovation, including assurance and auditing procedures, rural and regional development and low cost
agricultural systems relying on biological and ecological processes. Some of the challenges are in conflict
with each other (e.g. global harmonization versus local adaptation) and some challenges are also
opportunities (e.g. dynamic review of policies and standards).
• In recent years, awareness of health and environment among consumers has increased the demand of
organic produce. Indian agriculture needs not only to increase but also to maintain the production of food
• In India chemical fertilizers are applied only in 30% of the cultivated area which is irrigated and the
remaining land is under rain-fed agriculture with almost no fertilizer application which accounts for about
40% of the food grain production of the country.
• The potential areas and crops with low or no use of chemicals could be explored and brought under
31. organic agriculture. The rain-fed, tribal, Northeast and hilly regions of India were traditional farming on
eco-friendly lines is more or less practiced could be considered. The introduction of organic farming in
these areas will immediately lead to increased food production.
• The simple technologies with low input use developed for dry farming can be transferred to the farms for
organic farming. About 600-700 million tones of biomass is available to be converted to manure. This could
increase the nutrient value from 0.3-0.4% to 1-2%.
• Organic agriculture is now being practiced in more than 154 countries with a total area of 35 million ha
by 1.4 million producers. This constitutes 0.7% of total agricultural land of the world. Global demand for
organic products remains robust with sales increasing by over US$ 5 billion a year.
• By March, 2010, India has brought more than 4.48 million ha under organic certification process. Indian
organic industry is estimated at US$ 116.09 million and is entirely export oriented. According to APEDA
about 585970 tonnes of organic products worth Rs 301 million are being exported from India.
• Exceptional growth rates have tightened the supply in the market and this is creating opportunity for the
organic food exporters. The organic export market is expected to reach $1 billion by 2015 (The Economic
• Growing awareness, increasing market demand, increasing inclination of farmers to go organic and
growing institutional support have resulted in more than 200% growth in certified area during the last 2
• NGO’s are spearheading the organic movement in India as in other countries. About 20 agencies with the
assistance of international bodies have entered the field of inspection and certification.
• India has the potential to become a major organic producing country given the international demand for
our farm products, different agro-climatic regions for cultivation of a number of crops, the size of the
domestic market and above all the long tradition of environment friendly farming and living.
Challenges for organic agriculture
• Maintaining sustainability in the global economy: balancing organic principles with commercial
• Maintaining flexible organic standards and certification processes to address issues such as: a. nature
conservation and regeneration; b. equitable, affordable and flexible access to certification services; c.
responsible labour relations and land tenure arrangements; d. animal welfare; e. new inputs such as
‘natural’ biocides, soil amendments and GMOs; f. Incomplete or unscientific basis for including/excluding
materials from organic standards.
• Pursuing international harmonization of standards and certification.
• Developing locally applicable agronomic solutions to production constraints, such as weeds, animal
health and soil fertility.
• Expanding research activities in many disciplines (particularly beyond Europe and North America) and
foster the integration of knowledge.
• Preserving food quality while trying to increase productivity.
• Educating and training at all levels to build capacity, infrastructure and networks.
32. • Inadequacies in regulatory and marketing structures (e.g. labelling).
• Excessive consumer prices and inconsistent quality and availability.
IN INDIA ORGANIC FARMING IS A SAFE VENTURE ALTHOUGH IT MAY TAKE A WHILE TO ESTABLISH IT
AND MAKE IT FULLY FUNCTIONAL AND PROFITABLE. ORGANIC FARMS USED TO SIMPLY MEANS
FARMERS SELLING THEIR FOOD TO THE LOCALS. THE FARMS WERE SMALL AND PRIVATE, THERE WAS
INTERACTION BETWEEN THE CONSUMERS AND THE FARMERS. THE CONSUMERS WERE ABLE TO KNOW
MORE ABOUT THE DIFFERENT METHODS USED BY THE FARMERS TO GREW THE PRODUCE THAT THE
CONSUMERS WERE GOING TO CONSUME. SINCE THE TERM ORGANIC HAS INCREASED SALES IN THE
FOOD INDUSTRY BRANDS HAVE STARTED FOCUSING MORE ON THE ORGANIC LABEL TO INCREASE THE
COST OF FOOD RATHER THAN IMPROVING THE QUALITY DUE TO WHICH IT HAS BECOME Extremely
Complex TO RECOGNIZE WHICH ORGANIC PRODUCTS ARE GENUINE. ALTHOUGH THERE ARE
GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES AVAILABLE FOR THE COMMERCIAL ASPECTS.AS MORE AND MORE PEOPLE
ARE BECOMING Conscious ABOUT ORGANIC PRODUCTS AND THEIR BENEFITS A LARGE SECTION OF
THE SOCIETY HAS SHIFTED FROM NORMAL PRODUCTS TO ORGANIC PRODUCTS. ORGANIC FARMING IS
THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURAL SECTOR AND INDIA HAS TREMENDOUS POTENTIAL TO SUPPORT THE
WORLD'S ORGANIC MARKET.