Organic Farming and India
GLOBAL ORGANIC MARKET
The global organic food and beverages market is expected to grow from $ 57.2 biilion in 2010 to $ 104.5 billion in 2015 at an estimated compound
annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12_8 per cent. In 2010, Europe had the largest share in the global organic food and beverages market with revenue of $ 27.8 billion Germany is the biggest consumer in Europe with a share of 32 per cent of organic food and beverages in the region. Asian organic food market is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 20.6 per cent from 2010 to 2015. Japan leads the Asian countries in terms of organic food consumption with nearly 54 per cent of the share in 2010. Fresh produces (fruits and vegetables) are the highest selling organic food categories with 37 per cent of the organic foods segment in terms of revenue. In 2014, the global organic food market is forecast to have a value of USD 100 billion, an increase of 60 per cent since 2009
Indian Organic Market: It is estimated that 65 per cent of the country’s cropped area is organic by default, as small farmers have no choice but to farm without chemical fertilisers and pesticides which they cannot afford. According to ICCOA (International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture) estimates approx 1.5 per cent of all agricultural acreage in India is expected to be organic certified by 2012 and through its strong organic export programme, India will hold 2.5 per cent of the global market. The current size of the market for organic foods in India is pegged at about Rs 1,000 crore with a huge untapped potential, as per a recent article in the ‘Down to Earth’ magazine.
Organic farming has thrived in India since ancient times, with the Indian cow “Kamadhenu”, providing the natural fertilisers and other inputs. In the decades post-independence however, the soaring population increased dependency on food imports. A self reliance policy propagated in the Third Five-Year Plan (1961-66) heralded a thrust on domestic farm production and our scientists rose to the occasion by introducing high-yielding varieties which were heavily dependent on chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
However, this shift also brought along with it many ill-effects, resulting in many farming communities across India, shifting back to the traditional organic farming and promoting organic and health foods.
Organic agriculture is based on the principle of health, ecology, fairness and care. In particular, organic agriculture is intended to produce high quality, nutritious food that contributes to preventive health care and well-being. In view of this, it should avoid the use of fertilisers, pesticides, animal drugs and food additives that may have adversehealth effects. The Government of India also recognised this and has initiated norms for organic production and farming known as the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP), which are now accepted worldwide.
According to Codex Alimentarius (FAO/ WHO), organic agriculture is a holistic production management system which promotes and enhances agro ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity.
Indian Railways lose out to encash Carbon Credits : With carbon credit prices crashing, Indian Railways has missedthe opPortunity to earn from credits for the Mumbai suburban services, owing to delay in project registration. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Mumbai Metro One have, however, been able to cash in on the credits. The Railways project was taken up for registration, With the World Bank as consultant, and received host country approval three-and-a-half years ago, in January 2009. Now, the project is under the process of validation for registration by the UN. But carbon credit prices have crashed to $4 levels owing to the financial crisis in Europe and lack of consensus on the future of the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012. The Railways can now trade its credits only if the market recovers. The Railways took up the project for using regenerative energy-based electric multiple units (EMU). The use of such Elfts results in energy saving valued at Rs 1 08 crore per train a year. At present, 128 such trains are in use in the Mumbai suburban system, Implying energy savings of Rs 138 crore a year. Meanwhile, DMRC, a relatively new player in the transport sector, has already cashed in on the carbon trading option. Last year, it earned Rs 2.41 crore by selling 82,000 units of carbon credits. The credits were t). ought by Japan Finance Carbon Ltd at a per certified emission reduction (CER) rate of $6.2 (2008 deliveries) and $6 9 (2009 deliverI,,es) It earned CERs for the use of regenerative braking system in its trains, a process DMRC had registered with the UN in December 407. In June 2011, Mumbai Metro One — the metro project implemented by Reliance Infra — also registered its project with the UN, ……___-switzerland being the buying country. In June this year. DMRC also registered its phase-l