India’s agriculture is booming, and it’s attracting attention in many countries as a new frontier for food production.
But as farmers move to new markets, some are finding it hard to find the organic products they need to grow their livelihoods.
Here are some tips to help them navigate this growing market:Organic food is everywhere, but not for everyoneThe world is full of different organic food labels, including those for meats, fish, dairy, eggs, poultry and even fruits and vegetables.
Some countries, like India, are even banning the sale of organic food.
Some farmers say they cannot afford to go abroad to buy what they need.
“I am in a tough position, I can’t afford to do what I am doing here, which is produce organic food,” said Anjana Sharma, a farmer from Meghalaya’s Thapur district who has been growing organic food in his farmhouse for three decades.
“If I go abroad and buy organic food from China, it is a waste of my money.
But I don’t have the time to go to China and buy a ton of food from them,” she said.
For the most part, organic food is made by small-scale farmers in India.
But many of them, like Anjanas, say they do not have enough time to make enough organic food for their families, let alone make a profit on it.
India’s rural population is aging, and the country has a population of just over 8 million.
As India grows, many farmers will find it hard in the long run to survive on a diet of organic produce.
Organic farm-to-table programs like these have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in parts of South Asia and Africa.
These programs, which have grown to more than 30 countries, are focused on giving farmers and their families a place to buy locally grown, healthy food and provide support for their local communities.
“There are now about 150 organic food production programs in the country,” said Amit Gopal, a spokesperson for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
“It is very, very popular.
Many people are starting to get into this,” he said.”
They [the farmers] can sell their organic produce, but they cannot use the land for their own farming,” said Karthik, a farmers’ advocate in Maharashtra’s Vasant Kunj district.
“They are getting money from their own community.
They are giving it to the farmers to sell it for them.
It is not just for their family.
It can help the farmer as well,” he added.
The farm to table program is gaining popularity in some areas of India as well, but the program is not without its challenges.
According to a report by the India Institute of Development Studies, farmers in rural areas are struggling to provide basic services such as salaries to their families.
Many rural areas, including Maharashtra, are not equipped to cope with large numbers of farm workers, according to the report.
Some farmers have even been turning to cheaper methods of farming to support themselves, like buying small quantities of vegetables from nearby farms and selling them on the street, as they would do in a regular supermarket.
“The market is saturated.
It’s not that they don’t want to sell their produce, they just don’t know how to sell organic produce,” said Dinesh, who runs a small organic vegetable farm in Vasantpur, Maharashtra.
“We are very low in sales, and they are not selling organic produce anymore,” he continued.
The farmer said that the main problem with the organic food industry in India is that the prices are too low.
“At the moment, the prices of organic products are around Rs 50 to Rs 60 a kilo,” he told India Today.
“So, if we want to pay a farmer in the local market, we have to pay around Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 per kilo, which means a farmer has to spend Rs 4,000 on organic produce.”
For farmers like Karthika, organic is the best way to go.
“You cannot go to a supermarket.
They will sell everything you can eat,” he explained.”
I will take what I need and what I can get.
But organic food doesn’t cost as much as organic food sold in a supermarket,” he went on to add.
“When I come to the markets, I will buy organic produce and sell it to other people.
This way, I don�t have to sell my produce to the supermarkets, but to the market,” he concluded.
This article originally appeared on India Today and was translated by Agence France-Presse.