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Govt considering implementing ‘Organic Aadhaar’ to eliminate bogus enrollment

Govt considering implementing 'Organic Aadhaar' to eliminate bogus enrollment
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Govt considering implementing ‘Organic Aadhaar’ to eliminate bogus enrollment.

Following its action against rogue certification agencies, the agri-export promotion agency APEDA is now considering implementing ‘Organic Aadhaar’ for organic farmers under the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) to eliminate the possibility of bogus enrollment.

‘We are actively considering it because we want to ensure that India’s organic products remain one of the most preferred in the global market,’ said M Angamuthu, Chairman of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

Also Read | Organic certification agencies are no longer certifying ‘high-risk’ products.

The European Commission and Switzerland have recognized The NPOP standards for production and accreditation for unprocessed plant products as equivalent to their respective country standards. Importing countries in Europe accept Indian organic products certified by accredited certification bodies in India. Negotiations are underway with South Korea, Taiwan, Canada, and Japan to obtain similar recognition from these countries.

However, chemical residues were discovered in organic sesame exported to Europe last year, prompting India and the EU to take action against certification agencies (classification as high risk, suspension, and penalty). Later, due to alleged data from some fake farmers’ groups, India’s organic cotton exports were also tainted.

ULPIN scheme

Every plot of land in the country has been assigned a 14-digit identification number by the government. Last year, ten states implemented the Unique Land Parcel Identification Number (ULPIN) scheme, which will soon be rolled out across the country. According to official sources, this could also become a useful tool for identifying organic land.

For the organic certification process, the idea is to create an identity for the farmer based on Personal Aadhar and ULPIN. According to the sources, the data element of Organic Aadhaar will become the deep foundation for the integrity of India’s organic agriculture. ‘The combination of organic Aadhaar and Tracenet will create a robust system for effectively planning and monitoring policy measures,’ Angamuthu said.

Tracenet

In 2009, the Tracenet system was launched to provide information on products exported from the country. Details about the farmer, his land, and the inputs used in the production of the product are made available through the system for products exported from India. APEDA established an expert committee to strengthen and simplify organic agriculture in June 2021.

In 2009, the Tracenet system was launched to provide information on products exported from the country. Details about the farmer, his land, and the inputs used in the production of the product are made available through the system for products exported from India. APEDA established an expert committee to strengthen and simplify organic agriculture in June 2021.

‘Organic Aadhaar is similar to a voter ID card in that it will provide the farmer in a growers group with exclusive protection of organic status and income.’ This will allow him to sell the produce at a higher price without jeopardizing its organic status. If implemented, it will have a significant impact in the coming years, as it will elevate NPOP to a higher organic standard on the global map,’ said Chandrasekaran a trade policy analyst.

Also Read | Srilanka’s organic farming crisis would be a great lesson for Indian Policymakers, and farmers.

As of March 31, 2021, the total area under organic certification (registered under NPOP) was 43.39 lakh hectares. There are 26.58 lakh hectares of cultivable land and another 16.81 lakh hectares under collection for wild harvest. Oilseeds, sugarcane, millets, cotton, pulses, tea, coffee, fruits, vegetables, and spices were among the 34.96 lakh tonnes of certified organic products produced in India in 2020-21.