India’s organic food sector grows 10% over 2016-20

With the world’s 9th largest landmass under organic cultivation and the largest population of organic cultivators, India is fast emerging as a global leader in organic food production

March 13, 2020

Given rising domestic demand, India’s organic food segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10 per cent during the period 2016-21

Export of Indian organic food products has been on a steady rise worldwide, reaching a valuation of around US$515 million in 2017-18

India’s organic food business has the potential to reach a valuation of US$10.2 billion by 2025 from around US$370 million in 2015

The Government is also promoting organic food segment as a mechanism to empower women entrepreneurs and self-help groups (SHGs)

With the world’s 9th largest landmass under organic cultivation and the largest population of organic cultivators, India is fast emerging as a global leader in organic food production. India produced around 1.7 million tonnes of certified organic products in 2017-18, which included all varieties of food products namely oil seeds, sugar cane, cereals and millets, cotton, pulses, medicinal plants, tea, fruits, spices, dry fruits, vegetables, coffee, etc. The production has been driven by rising domestic consumption, driven by rising disposable incomes and increasing health awareness. Given the demand, India’s organic food segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10 per cent during the period 2016-21.

Meanwhile, the demand for Indian organic food products has been on a constant rise worldwide with the export of the products reaching a valuation of around US$515 million in 2017-18. The major markets for organic food products from India currently include the USA, the EU, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, South Korea, Vietnam, New Zealand, Japan, etc. From these countries, demands have been led by oilseeds, cereals, and millets, sugar, fruit juice concentrates, tea, spices, pulses, dry fruits, medicinal plant products, among others. As per a study by the Government of India, the nation’s organic business has immense potential to reach the US$10.2 billion mark by 2025 from US$370 million in 2015.

The global organic food market, estimated at US$90 billion in 2015, has been growing at a CAGR of about 12% and offers tremendous opportunities. Apart from organic, India has also emerged as the favourable source of “superfoods”. Export of Jackfruit, the largest tree-borne fruit treated as a vegan substitute for meat, had reached 500 tonnes in 2018. Meanwhile, 90 per cent of the world’s Makhana, or lotus seed, considered as a superfood to watch out for, is grown in Bihar. The Government is now taking active steps to further expand the production as well as the market of organic agri products. The segment is also being seen as a mechanism to empower women entrepreneurs and self-help groups (SHGs).