New Delhi: With an aim to empower women and promote organic produce, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) is organizing a National Organic Festival with a special focus on women entrepreneurs, said Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries (FPI).
Announcing the 3-day long food festival, during a press meet in New Delhi today, the FPI Minister shared that more than 150 women Entrepreneurs and Self Help Groups (SHG’s) from all over the country will be exhibiting their organic products in various segments such as fruit & vegetables, ready-to-eat products, spices and condiments, honey, cereals and dry fruits.
In order to boost the organic products and promote women entrepreneurship in the area of production and processing of organic products, the MoFPI and Ministry of Women and Child Development (Mo WCD) have joined hands for organising the 3-day festival from 21 to 23 February, at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi.
The festival-cum-exhibition that is being held under the theme ‘Unleashing India’s Organic Market Potential’ will be inaugurated by Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of FPI. Women entrepreneurs and SHGs from all over the country will be exhibiting their organic products in various segments such as fruit & vegetable, ready-to-eat products, spices and condiments, honey, cereals, dry fruits, beverages, medicinal plants, oil and value-added products like jam, jelly, murabba, chutney and various other products. Entrepreneurs and SHGs from 24 states are participating in the festival.
Apart from showcasing the organic products, the event will focus on facilitating business linkages and empowering women entrepreneurs through pre-arranged B2B and B2G meetings. Other softer elements of the exhibition will include, organic food quiz, live culinary sessions, chef talks, cultural events, and nukkad nataks.
Badal stated that the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) and Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD) have recently signed an MoU to help women entrepreneurs connect with the Government financial schemes like MUDRA (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency), Startup India and also meet the compliance needed for being competitive in the global market.
Skill development capacity building training programs for women entrepreneurs and SHGs will be organized to facilitate post-harvest management, value addition and new innovations towards enhancing production efficiency as well to impart comprehensive knowledge about various aspects of the supply chain of organic products.
Training on packaging, marketing and innovations on renewable energy will also be imparted to help the producers cater to a broader consumer base. Training on organic certification and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regulations will be organized as well to familiarize producers with the regulatory processes.
Awareness sessions for consumers on the benefits of incorporating organic in daily diet will be held. Also, success stories of entrepreneurs will be highlighted in an exclusive segment.
Talking about the benefits of organic food, Badal said, “How your food is grown or raised can have a major impact on your mental and emotional health as well as the environment. Organic foods often have much more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, than their conventionally-grown counterparts.”
With 9th largest organic agricultural land in the world and the largest number of producers, India is fast growing in the organic food segment. India produced around 1.70 million MT (2017-18) of certified organic products which include all varieties of food products namely oil seeds, sugarcane, cereals & millets, cotton, pulses, medicinal plants, tea, fruits, spices, dry fruits, and vegetables.
On the demand side, increasing disposable incomes, increasing awareness around health and wellness and increasing acceptability are driving the growth in the organic food segment which is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10% during the period 2016-21.
At the same time, the demand for Indian organic food products is increasing constantly worldwide, with India exporting organic products worth $515 million in 2017-18 with organic products being exported to USA, European Union, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Vietnam, New Zealand, Japan and other countries.
As per the Indian Organic Sector – Vision 2025 report, India’s organic business has immense potential to reach the Rs 75,000 crore mark by 2025 from Rs 2,700 crores (in 2015).
The major demands under the organic product category are for oilseeds, cereals & millets, sugar, fruit juice concentrates, tea, spices, pulses, dry fruits, and medicinal plant products.