According to Sujit Jain, President and Managing Director (CMD), Netsurf Communications Pvt Ltd, the demand for organic food in India is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 20.5% over the next few years, the size of the market is expected to exceed $2.6 billion by 2026.
According to the CMD of the Pune-based company, which was among the first in the country to launch organic agricultural branded products under the Biofit brand, the size of India’s organic food market was $849.5 million in 2020. , but since then it has been influenced by the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, causing demand to grow exponentially.
“Organic farming practices provide farmers with products of higher quality and quantity that can be sold at a premium price.” It has also helped them reduce their farming costs. In a nutshell, it is the most profitable and sustainable way for farmers to move forward,” he explained.
Since 2000, Netsurf has been selling its product through direct distribution. These “solutions” reduce reliance on agrochemicals and make products fully organic. Biofit products are said to be used by 35 to 40 lakh farmers. They represent 60% of Netsurf’s annual turnover.
Organic farming, according to Jain, has grown in popularity in recent years, with its practice improving soil fertility and crop development, as well as the quality of yields. According to data from the Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA), organic crop production was 3.2 million tonnes in 2020-21, up 36% from the year. former. According to him, the area under organic farming will increase to 2.3 lakh hectares in 2020-21.
“In the aftermath of a pandemic, consumers are looking for clean and healthy food options, and organic food is one of them.” Organically grown vegetables, staple foods, fruits and seeds, among others, have started to gain popularity in the market. “The industry has started to introduce organic products, which increases the demand considerably,” Netsurf’s CMD said.
As a result of these developments, the agricultural sector has started using bio-fertilizers and other organic farming practices. “Urban consumers are willing to pay a higher price for such certified organic foods.” State and central governments have implemented programs such as Paramparagat Krushi Vikas Yojana, National Oilseeds and Palm Oil Mission, National Food Security Mission, etc. Farmers can receive financial assistance from government agencies to encourage them to use organic fertilizers rather than synthetic chemical fertilizers,” he said.
According to Jain, industry and consumer demand, along with government support and increased profitability for farmers, are driving organic farming practices in India.
According to the Netsurf CMD, the Biofertilizers Market will grow from $110.07 Million in 2022 to $243.61 Million by 2029, at a CAGR of 12.02% during the forecast period. “Sikkim has fully converted to organic farming since 2016.” Kerala, Mizoram, Goa, Rajasthan and Meghalaya plan to follow suit. “Andhra Pradesh is also promoting zero budget natural farming,” he added.
An integrated approach is another driver for the growth of organic agriculture. “Many farmers have now opted for integrated farming, which consists of supplementing chemical fertilizers with biofertilizers. “It helped them increase yield and fertility,” he said. India is still in the early stages of implementing organic practices.
Netsurf sees a lot of potential for its Biofit brand of products in the North East, especially in Manipur, where farmers are interested in organic and integrated farming. The state government of Manipur implements the “Manipur Organic Mission” scheme to promote organic farming in the state.
“Uttar Pradesh has also taken steps to make the state a center for organic agriculture in India.” He introduced cluster farming and the government decided to fund each cluster for the next three years to encourage organic farming,” Jain explained, adding that the company helps farmers become direct sellers.
He said that health, fitness, immunity and organic food have become buzzwords since the pandemic, and the concept of healthy living and eating has seen tremendous growth since the pandemic. pandemic. According to studies, the demand for organic food is higher in developing countries than in developed countries.
“Consumers perceive organic foods to be more nutritious and healthier than conventionally grown foods. Due to all of these factors, retailers have seen a significant increase in demand for organic foods,” said CMD of net surfing. Jain said his company plans to launch new products across all categories, including the Biofit brand.
First published: August 03, 2022, 11:35 a.m. IST