PPP Project - Development of an organic market in India ..::

Activities

Organic Services GmbH in cooperation with DEG (German Investment and Development Company) and BioFach are committed to contribute to the development of rural areas in India and increase people’s living standard by supporting the domestic organic market development.

The aim of all project activities is to enhance the development of the domestic organic market in India by increasing the growth of:

    * organic farms, both in acreage and in number
    * processors and amounts of products that are manufactured in India
    * the growth of traders and trade with organic and natural products

Project activities are the preparation and implementation of congresses and seminars in India. The congresses serve as information and knowledge platform bringing all stakeholders from India and abroad together and strengthening the organic network in India. Seminars shall offer information and transfer knowledge for the needs of specific target groups (policy and decision makers, multipliers, farmers, farmer cooperatives processors and traders).
    

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Background

The dependency of Indian farmers on loans has grown over the last decades to an extent that suicides have reached several ten thousands per year. This situation in which farmers do not see any alternative for their family’s livelihood often stems from spending for agrochemicals and mineral fertilizers. Finally, drought and declining soil fertility are leading to hopelessness. Among other means organic farming is seen as one solution especially for small and medium farmers.

India is a country with strong traditions in traditional natural and organic farming dating back to several thousand years. Vriksha-Ayurveda is a classic method of planting and has inspired pioneers like Sir Albert Howard and Rudolf Steiner in their philosophy as well as in their practical recommendations for an alternative, bio-dynamic respectively organic agriculture.

About 70% of the cultivated land in India is rain fed (not irrigated). The potential of organic agriculture is seen in these areas, while in irrigated agriculture the “benefits” of modern agriculture make the government as well as farmers more resistant to adopt organic techniques. Presently, just about 340,000 hectares arable land are certified organic which is a very low figure compared to the size of the country while wild collection is comparatively hugeh with about 2.5 million hectares. India’s National Organic Program (NPOP) was developed by the Government of India through its Ministry of Commerce and implemented by APEDA (Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority). NPOP is currently in force only for exports, while the domestic regulation is urgently waited for. So, the Indian organic market still is predominantly export oriented. But, there is an estimated 200 million urban middle class that is more and more concerned regarding the quality of food and thus represent potential consumers of organic products.

Through all activities of the PPP-Project various types of stakeholders in the local organic market – who are mostly small and medium seized - will get assistance and backing for better developing their businesses for future demands. By enabling small and medium farmers to produce healthy products without the input of expensive (GMO) seeds and agrochemicals, the PPP-Project will create opportunities for them to play their part in a fast growing market sector. Also, upgrading of quality management requirements for value added products and manufacturing is essential for the Indian organic market development independent of whether products are aiming at domestic or export markets.   

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Results

At the end of 2008 the PPP-Project had supported all three India Organic Fairs and Congresses (2006 to 2008), organised a relevant number of seminars (three major events in different Indian States in 2007, major events on specific topics (cotton and textiles, food processing, health food – cosmetics and Ayurveda) supported or co-organised other seminars like on renewable energy in 2008, participated in events organised by others and held various trainings for farmer groups and manufacturers.

One aim of the project was the establishment of a leading international fair in India to permanently establish a business opportunity for farmers and companies in the market. ICCOA already established in 2005 the India Organic Trade Fair. Therefore the strategy of the PPP-Project aimed at joining forces between ICCOA and NürnbergMesse, the owner of the leading organic fair BioFach which finally could be achieved when ICCOA and “BioFach” signed an agreement of mutually supporting India Organic and BioFach.

The PPP-Project with its achievements contributed to the development of organic farming in India, knowledge transfer especially on marketing of organic produce, awareness on quality management and export requirements and thus to the livelihood of Indian farmers.

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contact

mail to Gerald A. Herrmann

phone: +49 8158 92293-06