GoI planning to expand NPOP organic certification: Borthakur

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With the aim to encourage export of organic products, the Government of Indian is planning to expand its existing certification to textile, cosmetics and Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (AYUSH) products, informed Paban K Borthakur, chairman of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

Organic foods are certified now through APEDA’s National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) under the commerce ministry and the Participatory Guarantee System for India of the agriculture ministry.

And now, NPOP – the world’s largest organic certification programme launched in 2001 – plans to enter organic AYUSH products, organic textiles and organic cosmetics revealed Borthakur after inaugurating the global trade fair on organic products ‘Biofach India’ in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

Since 2006, the NPOP has been recognised by the European Union and Switzerland. India has a similar agreement with the United States, a news agency report quoted him as saying. And as the outcome of such agreements, Indian organic products are being exported to these countries without the need for re-certification, he shared.

In 2018-19, India exported 6.14 lakh tonnes of organic food products valuing ₹5,151 to countries such as the United States, the European Union, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Vietnam, New Zealand, and Japan, he further informed. As per APEDA, India produced around 2.67 million tonnes of certified organic products in 2018-19. The production is not limited to the edible sector but also extends to organic cotton fibre and functional food products.

Total area under organic certification process (registered under National Programme for Organic Production) was 3.56 million hectare till March 2019. This includes 1.94 million hectare cultivable area and another 1.49 million hectare for wild harvest collection. As per the data, Madhya Pradesh has covered the largest area under organic certification followed by Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh.

2016 marked Sikkim’s achievement of converting its entire cultivable land (more than 76,000 hectares) under organic certification. As per the industry estimates, India’s organic agricultural products market is about ₹8,500 crore and exports account for nearly 60 per cent.