Monday, December 17, 2007

ORGANIC FOOD IN INDIA

Organic food is now no more a privilege of people of developed countries or elite. Though it costs more, it is gaining popularity. The reason is growing health consciousness among people. As a result, not only the rich but also higher middle class in the metro cities of India are going for organic food. The most important reason for preference for organic food is concern for the health of children. In the developed countries over 66 percent people prefer organic food to non- organic food.

A recent survey has brought out the fact that India was among top ten countries where health food, including organic food, was in demand. People are willing to pay premium for the organic food just for the sake of better health of their children. Consequently, the number of stores selling organic food is also increasing.

According to the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD), about 2.5 million hectares of land was under organic farming in India in 2004. But now this figure is increasing many folds. In India, 2.5lakh farmers cultivate organic food. Amongst these states, Rajasthan stands number one with total 2.31lakh acres land under organic cultivations. The farmers from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh have also diverted from non-organic to organic farming.

Both consumer and farmers are now gradually shifting back to organic farming in India. It is believed by many that organic farming is healthier but critics also say that this food is luxury for the common man and they can not afford. They also claim that there are no scientific explanations about organic food. This is being promoted by vested interest. The time will say about the benefit of organic food. But it is proved that there is vast economic viability in this sector. The Government of India still not look in this area but NGOs in country work sincerely to promote this sector.

Mukesh Gupta CEO of M.R. Morarka รข€“GDC Rural Research Foundation of Rajasthan says that we succeeded to promote the organic agriculture and the income of farmers has been doubled just within the year. Besides organic agriculture promotion, this foundation also work in vermiculture technology development & promotion, waste management and recycling, ecotourism and heritage conservation.

Recently, this foundation had also invited more than 1000 prominent personalities from Delhi and Jaipur for the test of organic food. Mr. Brinjendra Rehi, Media Advisor of this foundation says that we have collected data of 10 lakhs farmers and will try to divert them in organic agriculture. The question is here that whether, the GOI and NGOs both can work together for the promotion of small farmers in this sector so that they can stop suicides. It is very unfortunate that in name of poor people, only rich men get all financial benefit in our country. We hope that promotion of this sector may reach up to the right people- poor farmers and also who are health conscience.

By Sangeeta Shukla

Source: http://www.theorganichome.co.uk/2007/12/organic-food-in-india.php

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