Despite the pandemic, India’s organic food exports grew 51 per cent over 2019-20, with organic exports reaching 8,88,180 tonnes in 2020-21, K Srinivas, partner, food & agribusiness, KPMG, said at a seminar hosted by India Pavilion at EXPO2020 Dubai on Monday.
“India is ranked amongst the top ten exporting countries in agriculture and the overall exports have been growing at an extremely significant rate. Despite the pandemic challenges, we were able to achieve this feat and it strengthens India’s positioning as an exporter globally,” Srinivas said.
Emphasizing on the export-focused strategy for the promotion of organic and horticulture produce, Srinivas said, “This platform is helping us initiate conversation around awareness and capacity building with investors to make prominence of India in horticulture space. Adoption of good agriculture practices, enhanced farm gate infrastructure, higher investment in R&D, and digital integration are some of the strategies that will play important role in promoting India’s horticulture exports.”
The seminar witnessed the sharing of 11 success stories by various start-ups and food processing businesses, focusing on key-value chain and export opportunities in India.
To project the strength of India’s organic agriculture and horticulture products in the global market, India Pavilion at EXPO2020 Dubai hosted a seminar “Indian Organic and Horticulture Sector–Moving Up the Value Chain’ as part of the ongoing ‘Food, Agriculture and Livelihood’ fortnight.
The seminar that deliberated on the opportunities and huge export potential that the Indian agriculture sector offers, saw participation from the representatives of the government and the private sector.
In his opening remarks, P K Swain, additional secretary in the ministry of agriculture and farmers’ welfare, said, “In ‘Rising India’, agriculture is a dominant sector which contributes significantly to the Indian economy. With 15 agro-climatic zones, rich soil, mineral-rich water, and increasing volume, variety and quality, India is on its way to becoming the food basket of the world and is offering both food and nutritional security with good agricultural practices to the world.”
Applauding the expansion of the sector in the country, Swain said, “India is scripting history with the enchanting growth trajectory of organic horticulture.” He also urged the global investors to invest in the agriculture supply chain and take advantage of FDI policies introduced by the government in the sector.
B Rajendra, minister (agriculture), Embassy of India, Rome and Italy and representative of FAO, said, “We need to put a lot of effort in ensuring the quality of our organic horticulture produce and take advantage of such global platforms to expand our export avenues.”
Talking about the export potential of organic and horticulture produce in India, Priya Ranjan, joint secretary, ministry of agriculture and farmers’ welfare said, “To ensure the quality of our organic produce, we need to have a robust system of certification and Government of India has anchored two systems of certification for organic products”. He further emphasised that appropriate phytosanitary protocols need to be ensured for better acceptability of Indian organic and horticultural products. “We envisage targeting 10 per cent export share in global fruits and vegetable market by 2030”, he added.
The ‘Food, Agriculture and Livelihood’ fortnight will conclude on 2 March.