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organic food market 27 Jun 2017

Organic food in India

This article lets you know all about organic food and its benefits. Read on...

By Madhusree Chowdhury Feature Writer

Farm or organic food in Indiawas well regarded always, valued as well as cultivated with optimum understanding of the sustainability of the planet, the bio-network as well as the future generation. However, over the last few decades, the stature of Indian agriculture has changed to a wide extent. Food items available today in the market are mostly laden with chemical fertilizers and pesticides which are used mostly for achieving early as well as huge produce. On the contrary use of these chemical fertilizers has enhanced the production and rate of productivity to a higher extent. Increase in the use of pesticides has also given birth to a large number of environmental and health related problems. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides upon use over a long time span results in adverse toxic effects upon the land’s productivity and further transfers diseases to the consumers having these products.

Process of production of organic food
Enhanced consciousness towards a healthy lifestyle has witnessed organic farm production along with trade to emerge as an essential sector in the country as well as the world. Growth of organic food with minimal or no usage of chemical fertilizers, no addition of artificial colour or flavour has gained popularity. Organic food in Indiais cultivated by the use of organic manures, bio- pesticides and bio- fertilizers. Due to the health benefits that organic products come with, these are being highly preferred by both producers and consumers.

Enhanced use of organic food
Increasing awareness with regard to tasty, nutritious, healthy food and the changing lifestyle today are boosting the demand for farm products. This is mostly seen in metropolitan cities and majority of this demand has been created by cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Pune, Gurgaon and Bengaluru. Consumers are opting for organic food in India very consciously to rectify their eating habits. This in a way is driving the budding entrepreneurs in dealing with organic food products. According to the study that has been recently prepared, size of Indian organic food market in 2014 was worth $0.36billion and it was organic food grains and pulses that formed the majority of the market share. The research also reports that by the end of 2020, the organic food product market in India will witness growth by 25%, provided there is growing awareness regarding these products on part of the government.

“Organic farming appealed to me because it involved searching for and discovering nature’s pathways, as opposed to the formulaic approach of chemical farming. The appeal of organic farming is boundless; this mountain has no top, this river has no end.” – Eliot Coleman, organic farmer and author of ‘The New Organic Grower and Four-Season Farm’

Benefits of having organic food
Organic food in India has garnered popularity due to the health benefits it has. Here are some of these benefits discussed in details:

- Possess adequate nutrients and antioxidants- Organic food in India are enriched with adequate amount of nutrients and anti-oxidants that are beneficial for health. Also, those who are prone to allergies caused as a result of excessive use of food preservatives or other chemicals will grab control over such symptoms with the use of organic food in their day to day life. Due to less usage of pesticides, these organic items are considered healthy.

- Free from genetically modified produce or organisms- Food produced organically are fresh as they are devoid of harmful preservatives. On addition, they are also free from genetically modified produce or organisms. Such plants or animals have their DND completely altered in a manner which is not possible in case of traditional crossbreeding. GMOs are basically engineered for making the food produce completely resistant to the herbicides. It is good for the environment as organic farming has cut down the intensity of pollution and also tends to conserve the use of energy, water and soil erosion. As a result, soil fertility is enhanced.

- Organic cattle farming needs to be adopted- As of organic food in India, even cattle farming too is devoid of those chemical antibiotics, growth hormones and any other animal by products. Thus, poultry farming or meat production cuts down the risks of diseases among human beings. Organic meat and milk come from cattle feeding upon grass grown naturally which is hence different from those conventional animals feeding upon grains. Both organic milk and meat are highly rich in terms of nutrients such as omega- 3 fatty acids which render you energy.

- Go natural- biologically diverse- One of the best thing regarding items that are grown organically is they depend largely upon biological diversity rather than upon synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. They come with natural fertilizers such as manure and compost. Other than carrying out framing activities for this kind of products, hand weeding, mulching, crop rotation and tilling are some of the techniques adhered for controlling the growth of weeds, whereas insects are controlled through methods like traps and birds.

“Organic is something we can all partake of and benefit from. When we demand organic, we are demanding poison-free food. We are demanding clean air. We are demanding pure, fresh water. We are demanding soil that is free to do its job and seeds that are free of toxins. We are demanding that our children be protected from harm. We all need to bite the bullet and do what needs to be done—buy organic whenever we can, insist on organic, fight for organic and work to make it the norm. We must make organic the conventional choice and not the exception available only to the rich and educated.” -Maria Rodale, Chairman and CEO of Rodale

Final say
So, if you are still thinking whether it would be safe to go with organic food in India or not, the answer is definitely yes. 

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