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Organic certification-key to penetrate the top markets

“Organic farming used to be the tradition of this country in past. We were, without question, on the right path but got deviated by some elements, few years back. This decision to embrace the synthetic farm technologies and forgetting the traditional wisdom of our ancestor farmers has heavily cost us economically, socially and environmentally.” Said Mr. Uday Narayan Choudhary, hon. Speaker, Bihar assembly on 4th Aug in a farmers’ rally held at Patna.
This convention was organised by Ecocert India, an affiliate of ECOCERT SA, a French organic and fair trade certification body, in collaboration with a local NGO ‘Organic Mission’ – a medicinal and aromatic plants growers association of Bihar.
The convention was a day long programme held at Bihar Industries of Association in Patna and witnessed the presence of about 200 farmers from Bihar as well as its neighboring Zharkhand state.
Among the other dignitaries on the dais were the special guest of this event, Mr. D. K. Singh, Director, M.S.M.E. D.I. Patna, organizer, Dr. Selvam Daniel, Managing director of Ecocert India and co-organiser of the event, Mr. Krishnaprasad, Secretary of ‘Organic Mission’.
“This convention, for sure will mark the launch of new era for Bihar. Bihar has got the wealth of natural resources. With Ecocert’s brand name associated with it, the certified organic food from Bihar will soon find its place on the platter of the dedicated organic consumers. Home to some unique commodities like jute, litchi, cosmetic raw materials viz. herbal and aromatic plants and makhana, Bihar will soon see agri-entrepreneurs exporting these commodities as certified organic to different world markets. We have launched today in Bihar a special program of certification for the small farms at a very affordable cost. This is done to encourage the small farmers to take advantage of organic market.” says Dr. Daniel.
“I am really pleased to be here and I thank Ecocert for having organized this event. My company has decided to invest in the state, especially in the contract farming programme with the jute growers of Bihar, says Mr. Amitabh K. Singh, a representative of Mumbai based textile products exporter 'Amit Green Acres'.
During the technical sessions, arranged for the farmers and agri-entrepreneurs, Dr. Abhishek Kumar and Dr. Amol Nirban, Ecocert India’s staff explained the types and requirements of organic certification, need to turn towards organic, certification process and market availability for the certified produce.
“The demand for organic commodities is growing at a rate of 25% per year in the world. Whereas, the farmers in Bihar are in the utmost need of opportunities for some trade to happen. Facilitating the access of farm produce from Bihar will alone bring the much required sustainable growth in this region. And this growth can only come from the organic certification of farm produce.”says Dr. Daniel.

by S. C.
25 august 2010, World News > Asia

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