New Delhi: “Exports of organic products, which have risen to Rs328 crore in 2007-08, are unlikely to be affected by the current global slowdown,” says an expert.
“According to government estimates, exports are Rs328 crore but we feel exports would be higher,” said Manoj Menon of International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA).
“In 2006-07, organic exports were about Rs300 crore, as per industry estimates,” he added.
“When exports are of only Rs300 crore, the impact of the crisis would not be felt here,” Menon said.
Cotton, tea, cashew, rice and honey are some of the major organic products exported from the country. For India, Europe is the biggest market, followed by the US.
Earlier, announcing that ICCOA would organise exhibition on organic agriculture in November in Delhi, Menon said that the domestic market has a potential of Rs1,450 crore but added that there is no estimate available about the current size.
Speaking on the occasion, Sanjeev Gupta, joint secretary in the Agriculture Ministry, said that the areas under organic farming, including those under the process of certification, have risen to 8.65 lakh hectares in 2007-08 from 5.38 lakh hectares in the previous year.
Gupta felt there was need to increase the number of certification agencies as they take time in approving projects under organic farming. He also informed that the Centre would not like to control the organic market by making standards mandatory.
“The domestic standards would be voluntary, initially,” he said, adding that the standards would come in a few months.