India Begins Exports of Organic Millets

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    In News 

    Recently, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry announced that the first consignment of organic millets would be exported to Denmark.

    Major Points 

    • The first consignment of millets was produced in the Himalayas from snow-melt water of the Ganges in Uttarakhand. 
    • APEDA, in collaboration with Uttarakhand Agriculture Produce Marketing Board (UKAPMB) & Just Organik, an exporter, has sourced & processed ragi (finger millet), and jhingora(barnyard millet) from farmers in Uttarakhand for exports.
      • These millets meet the organic certification standards of the European Union.
    •  The Uttarakhand government has been supporting organic farming. 
      • UKAPMB has been supporting thousands of farmers for organic certification. These farmers produce mainly millets such as ragi, barnyard millet, amaranthus etc

    Significance 

    • The exports of millets to Denmark would expand exports opportunities in European countries. 
    • The exports would also support thousands of farmers that are getting into organic farming. 
      • Millets are gaining a lot of popularity globally because of their high nutritive values and being gluten-free also.

    Present status of organic foods exports

    • India’s export of organic food products rose by more than 51% to Rs 7078 crore ($ 1040 million) during April-February (2020-21) compared to the same period in the previous fiscal (2019-20).
    • Oil cake meal is a major commodity of the organic product exports from the country followed by oilseeds, fruit pulps and purees, cereals & millets, spices, tea, medicinal plant products, dry fruits, sugar, pulses, coffee, essential oil etc. 
    • India’s organic products have been exported to 58 countries including the USA, European Union, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Switzerland, Israel and South Korea.
    • At present, organic products are exported provided they are produced, processed, packed and labelled as per the requirements of the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP). 

    National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) 

    • It is implemented by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
      • The NPOP has been implemented by APEDA since its inception in 2001 as notified under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulations) Act, 1992.
    • NPOP grants organic farming certification through a process of third party certification.
      • The NPOP certification has been recognized by the European Union and Switzerland which enables India to export unprocessed plant products to these countries without the requirement of additional certification.
    •  NPOP also facilitates the export of Indian organic products to the United Kingdom even in the post Brexit phase.
    • NPOP has also been recognized by the Food Safety Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) for the trade of organic products in the domestic market. Organic products covered under the bilateral agreement with NPOP need not be recertified for import in India.

    About India Denmark Relations

    • The first Prime Minister of India visited Denmark in 1957 and laid the foundation for a friendly relationship between India and Denmark.
    • The bilateral relations between India and Denmark are cordial and friendly, based on synergies in political, economic, academic and research fields. 
    • There have been periodic high-level visits between the two countries.
    • They have joint working groups on Shipping; Food, Agriculture and Fisheries; Environment, Biotechnology; New and Renewable Energy; and Labour Mobility
    • The Strategic Sector Cooperation on offshore wind and renewable energy, as well as the India-Denmark Energy Partnership (INDEP) on
      • Capacity building, 
      • Knowledge-sharing 
      • Technology transfer on wind energy
      • Energy modelling and integration of renewable energy.
    • All these illustrate the shared commitment to addressing some of the common global challenges on the path towards global energy transition, green growth and sustainable development.
    • The Prime Ministers of India and Denmark agreed to elevate India-Denmark relations to a Green Strategic Partnership in 2020.
      • India has launched the Green Strategic Partnership for the first time with Denmark as its partner to be at the forefront of the global fight against Climate Change.
        • It envisaged cooperation within the political field, economic and commercial field, education and culture, Renewable Energy, Urban Development, Environment, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Food Processing, Science, Technology and Innovation, Shipping, Labour Mobility and Digitization.

    Source: PIB