Post the introduction of new farm laws, several Indian states witnessed a surge in organic farming activities with the involvement of youth. Additionally, with government’s latest move of certifying the regions for boosting organic produce, startups and several private players like Adani Group, Baramati Agro Ltd and Organic Tattva are training and educating farmer to generate more profits and enhance skills
The world is presently battered with the second wave of COVID-19. The shifting focus on healthy food has spurred an increase in the demand for organic products. As per WHO, the global organic food market is estimated to be around $37 billion. According to the international survey report (2021) on organic farming, India is at the 5th position in context of organic area and topping the chart in terms of total number of producers. However, the country is still at a nascent stage when it comes to organic farming. As of March 2020, the official data of the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare highlights that around 2.78 million hectare of farmland was under organic cultivation which is just two per cent of the total net sown area in the country.
Extending the scope of organic farming, recently, over 14,000 hectares area in Car Nicobar and Nancowry islands in the Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands was accorded organic certification by the Union Agriculture Ministry. Under the government’s Large Area Certification (LAC) scheme, farming operations in the region will be completely free from chemical inputs.
Tapping the potential of the market, several young entrepreneurs, and private players such as Organic Tattva and Adani Group are supporting the organic food producers. Additionally, several organic farmers have welcomed the new farm bill and believe that under the new system, they will be directly selling their produce across the country without any mandi tax which will increase their income.
In an attempt to promote adoption of organic farming and improvement of crop production, Adani Foundation recently organized a progressive farmers exposure visit for 45 marginal & small farmers in Dandamakundapur.
After the introduction of new farm bill, youth is transitioning from their 9 to 5 jobs and shifting the focus towards agriculture. Driven by a quest to contribute to the sector and leverage its potential, several people have been leaving their high-paying jobs to adopt organic farming as a career. With private players like Adani Group, Baramati Agro Ltd, Phalada Agro Research Foundations and more establishing their customer base across the globe, youngsters are also leaving no stone unturned in their effort to widen the horizons of this sector.
Recently, Tom Kiron Davis, a resident of Thumbur village in the Thrissur district of Kerala, left his well-paying job in Dubai to pursue farming as his professional career. He has also helped numerous farmers to boost their income and earn in lakhs per annum.
Another inspiring person in the sector is Dr Salim Channiwala, who is a mechanical engineer by profession and former director at Sardar Vallabhai National Institute of Technology in Surat. He has strived over the years and helped around 400 farmers from various states like Maharashtra and Gujarat. A bio-organic liquid fertilizer made up from slurry and various micronutrients was developed by him that increases the production by over 20 per cent.
Startups like Just Organic and I Say Organic are also joining the big players of the industry like Adani Group, Organic Tattva, Baramati Agro Ltd by setting up new ventures. They are empowering the farmers by motivating them and helping them to produce naturally grown food along with making it more organic and accessible.
Much before the new farm law were introduced, Adani Group supported farmers under the Project Annapurna by transforming agriculture practices and promoting organic farming in the villages of Chhattisgarh. Under this initiative, around 100 farmers were trained to convert 100 acres of land for organic farming of different vegetables and wheat. They were also taught techniques for organic farming using vermicompost which effectively improves fertility and cuts down the detrimental impact of chemicals.
Apart from Adani Agri Fresh Limited (AAFL), a subsidiary of Adani Group, 24 Mantra Organic was also established much before the introduction of new farm law and worked on educating and training organic farmers to boost their income. The company trained field associate and without intervention of any middlemen, procurement used to be done directly with the farmers at the dedicated centers of each project site.
With huge investments, the organic food market of India touched a mark of US$ 815 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 25%, touching the value of around US$ 2,091 million by the year 2024.