To project the strength of India's organic agriculture and horticulture products in the global market, India Pavilion at EXPO2020 Dubai hosted a seminar "Indian Organic and Horticulture Sector–Moving Up the Value Chain' as part of the ongoing 'Food, Agriculture and Livelihood' fortnight.
To deliberate on the opportunities and huge export potential that the Indian agriculture sector offers, the seminar saw participation from the representatives of the Government & Private sector.
In his opening remarks, PK Swain, additional secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, said, "In 'Rising India', Agriculture is a dominant sector which contributes significantly to the Indian economy. With 15 agro-climatic zones, rich soil, mineral-rich water, and is driving the volume, variety, and quality. India is on its way to becoming the food basket of the world and is offering both food and nutritional security with good agricultural practices to the world."
Applauding the expansion of the sector in the country, Swain said, "India is scripting history with the enchanting growth trajectory of organic horticulture." He also urged the global investors to invest in the agriculture supply chain and take advantage of FDI policies introduced by the government in the sector.
Dr B Rajendra, minister (Agriculture), Embassy of India, Rome & Italy & Representative, FAO said, "We need to put a lot of effort in ensuring the quality of our organic horticulture produce and take advantage of such global platforms to expand our export avenues."
Talking about the export potential of organic and horticulture Produce in India, Priya Ranjan, joint secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers welfare said, "To ensure the quality of our organic produce, we need to have a robust system of Certification and Government of India has anchored two systems of certification for Organic products". He further emphasized that appropriate phytosanitary protocols need to be ensured for better acceptability of Indian Organic and Horticultural products. "We envisage targeting 10% export share in global fruits and vegetable market by 2030", he added.
It is pertinent to point that despite the pandemic, India's organic exports grew 51% over 2019-20 levels. India's organic exports stood at 8,88,180 MT in 2020-21.
Highlighting the impressive trajectory of India's agriculture ecosystem, K Srinivas, partner, Food & Agribusiness, KPMG, said, "India is ranked amongst the top ten exporting countries in agriculture and the overall exports have been growing at an extremely significant rate. Despite the pandemic challenges, we were able to achieve this feat and it strengthens India's positioning as an exporter globally."
Emphasizing the export-focused strategy for promoting organic and horticulture produce, Srinivas said, "This platform is helping us initiate conversation around awareness and capacity building with investors to make prominence of India in horticulture space. Adoption of good agriculture practices, enhanced farm gate infrastructure, higher investment in R&D, and digital integration are some of the strategies that will play an important role in promoting India's horticulture exports."
Eleven success stories were shared at the session by various start-ups and food processing businesses, focusing on India's key-value chain and export opportunities.
The 'Food, Agriculture and Livelihood' fortnight will conclude on March 2nd.