The world has hit a “reset” in 2020 – people are now keen to go “back to the basics”. It has been proven that food laced with harmful chemicals cannot give us health and immunity. The only solution now seems to be organic food – the kind of fresh, chemical-free food our forefathers used to eat before harmful chemicals and pesticides took over agriculture.
What Do The Numbers Say?
The organic food market has been growing worldwide, including in India. It had a market share of $193.6 Billion in 2019, expected to grow at 20% CAGP.
The Indian organic food market alone was valued at $849.5 Million in the year 2020. The projected growth rate of this market is 20.5% CAGP in 2021-2026. In fact, India has exported organic food worth $689 Million in 2019-20.
This clearly shows the increasing affinity for organic food in India as well as the world.
People have been hit hard by the 2020 Covid pandemic. Millions worldwide became a victim of this deadly virus. So, people have started to take notice of their health issues. The realization has finally dawned upon the public that medicine can only help so much. Ultimately boosting immunity through a healthy diet is the key. For the health conscious mass, organic food has emerged as the answer.
The Indian government has seen potential in organic farming. They have launched several schemes aimed to facilitate organic farming.
The Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana encourages cluster based farming which is complete with a Participatory Guarantee System (PGS). It supports all the formation, training, marketing and certification. It also comes with the monetary support of Rs. 50,000 per H.A.
The National Food Security Mission (NFSM) provides monetary assistance for promoting bio-fertilizer at 50% of the cost.
Thanks to government initiatives, Sikkim is doing 100% organic farming. States like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh has shown excellent growth in organic farming.
As the organic food sector experiences growing demands coupled with government support, many new start-ups have entered the market of organic food. There have been many new companies within the agro-tech industry who have contributed to the market through many new-age inventions. Other brands have appeared with organic, eco-friendly wellbeing products.
For example, now we have a pest control system based on pheromone, reducing dependency on pesticides. An organic alternative of chemical fertilizer has also come up, which biochar and some organic nutrients. There are now smart technologies to monitor aquaculture ponds.
However, buyers must keep a discerning eye for start-ups that genuinely care about people’s wellbeing apart from profit.
What Interests the Start-ups?
Many Engineers and innovators are turning to the organic food market. Why?
Well, first of all, they have already realized that organic food is the future, and this market is only going to expand, making it highly profitable. This realization added to the government encouragement has evoked many new start-ups to invest in this market.
How Farmers Benefit
Farmers in India are up against the weather – it is always unpredictable. Therefore, their yield is still uncertain, which puts them in a precarious position. Indian farmers rely on seasonal Rabi and Kharif crops, which limits their farming and earning scopes. However, with the help of smart organic farming, farmers can have access to new modified seeds to farm crops throughout the year. Less dependency on costly fertilizers and pesticide means more fresh food and more money. In fact, organic farming has helped farmers to cope with changing climate.
Government schemes already offer training. However, more training through government or NGOs is always a plus.
Organic food is no longer limited to the elite class because of the high price. The health consciousness of people, along with tough market competition, is making organic food products affordable for the common masses.
It is a boon for farmers as well. Now they can earn more at lesser cost and effort, with the help of smart technology. Agro-industry booms as new start-ups join every day.
The world has realized that healthy food is the only answer to a better, healthier future. Organic food is the only sustainable answer. Back to Basics is mantra to new healthy life!