Thinking of switching to organic food items? Take a look at your income sheet. You have the risk of ending up with another additional expense worth Rs 1,200 to 1,500 per month. According to a study conducted recently, it has been come to light that even though the government is asking people to stay healthy and eat healthy, organic food which claims of providing the same are available at a price that seems out of budget for many. While the government is suggested to take requisite steps for the same but sound health of the consumers with average pay scale is still a question.
A joint study conducted by Ernst & Young LLP and Assocham pointed out that the purchase of these organic products is completely restricted to people with high income range owing to their cost. When asked, the farmers stated that compared to other food products, the organic counterpart is costlier due to limited amount of production and huge production cost. Also they require special kind of packaging which in a way increases the logistic as well as distribution rate. Alongside, every now and then, the government has to spend a significant amount to train and educate the farmers about the method of producing organic products.
Other factors held responsible behind this growing price are low supply and huge demand. As per the study, there are different challenges in store for all the stakeholders associated with this business at various stages even after organic farming being constantly promoted by both the state governments, central governments and the private sectors. The study quoted that due to the gaps existing at various stage of the regulatory framework planned for the organic products-(production and sale) in India, their producers are struggling continuously to optimize their operation at the same time retaining some amount of profit.
Among other challenges faced by this sector are: lack of optimum organic agricultural inputs, subsidy upon organic inputs, issues persisting with the supply chains, competition at the global range, absence of adequate branding scopes as well as discrepancy with packaging facilities. So as to cut down the cost of production of organic goods, the study has suggested both the central and state government to discourage the usage of pesticides and fertilizers by promoting the use of bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers. With this in play for the producers, organic food processors too have met various issues. One among these is the lack of enough facilities after the harvest phase.
Steps therefore has to be taken so as to curb down chances of both contamination followed by cross-contamination of the produce obtained as the country is still lacking behind in terms of agricultural infrastructure, revealed the study. In addition to this, changes have to be made in the legal framework related to organic products. Proper standards too have to be maintained when checking the production quality and price. The need of the hour is to take measures to develop a sound bond between the private and the public sector enterprises dealing with the organic food sector.