The farm we used to harvest the turmeric is family owned organic Turmeric plantation in Karnataka in South India which is over 2000 miles from Bangladesh.
The Karnataka region where our farm is was one of the first regions in India to be part of the updated state government launched Organic Farming Policy 2017, but has been in place since 2004. This policy aims to bring organic farming into the mainstream and transform agriculture in Karnataka into a sustainable remunerative occupation enabling production of nutritious food by promoting eco-friendly organic farming and marketing systems. The policy strategies included organic farming in mainstream agriculture, focus on region and season specific crops to increase farm output and income, added as beneficiaries under various strategies, adoption of group centric approach in production, handling and marketing of organic produce, diversified farming for maximising production, productivity and farm income and promotion of Neutra Cereals. The policy also focus on conservation and management of soil and water and agri-ecosystem, improve supply chain and infrastructure for post-harvest, simplification and authentication, enforce quality control, branding, labelling and packaging of organic produce.
Certification a must
AK Yadav, advisor, APEDA, said certification is necessary for organic products. It is not the organic products but the land on which they are produced that needs to be certified. The centre has come out with two types of certification–the national program for organic certification (NPOP) and the participatory guarantee system (PGS).
“The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has drafted a new rule that no person shall pack, manufacture, sell, distribute any organic food unless they comply with FSSAI regulations. This applies to processed food and not to farmers. To export to other countries, an NPOP certification is required but it is expensive as it contains a QR code. Such a certification enables the seller to directly sell in the European Union and other markets which have stringent import rules, especially when related to food. All these central government policies are in sync with the new organic farming policy that Karnataka has come out with.