definition of organic farming as “a holistic production management system which promotes and enhances agro-eco system health, including biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity” (GOI, 2001). This paper examines the main issues in the Indian organic farming and trade sector and discusses strategies for better performance. After locating the growing importance of this form of enterprise in the problems of mainstream farming and trade practices, both international and domestic, in the First section, it profiles global production and demand
7 scenario in the Second section. It documents the Indian experience in organic production and trade in section III. As a strategic issue, the paper also dwells on the link between organic produce movement and the ethical and fair trade movements in section IV as they are similar in their objectives though there are certain conflicts in the way they are presently conducted. The paper concludes by suggesting ways to give a fillip to Indian organic production and trade from a marketing and competitiveness perspective in section V. I. Rationale for Organic Farming in India Organic farming has been found to be as or more viable than conventional farming in the United States of America (USA) and the European countries due to either higher yield, lower cost or higher market prices (Lampkin, 1994). In India, environmental concerns have led many NGOs and governments to promote organic farming. High cost modern farming and its unsustainability due to overcapitalization and rising input costs has made organic farming a necessity in many agriculturally grown regions. Organic farming is not only financially less draining for the small farmer and good for environment, it also helps the government to reduce its subsidy bill meant for modern inputs. The logic for organic farming also comes from the more recent environmental related non-tariff barriers like pesticide residues and fruit fly problem in fruit and vegetable exports from India to the European Union (EU), the USA, China, Australia and Japan, hormones in livestock products exports to the EU, and sesame and tobacco exports to
8 Japan. Even textile exports to the EU and the USA have not escaped environmental barriers. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) ban on Indian meat imports (for 10 companies) due to health and hygiene reasons and the EU ban on Indian fish imports due to lack of Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) standards especially in canning (only 90 out of 404 plants are approved for fishery exports to the EU) are other recent cases of SPS barriers. The Hand Picked Selected (HPS) groundnut and spices meant for the EU, Italy and Germany and chillies for Spain have faced trouble due to aflatoxin and chemical residues. India had been delisted from the list of approved countries in the EU for import of egg powders, two years ago, for non-submission of Residue Monitoring Plan (RMP).
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- Fall '13
- organic farming