At a time when there is a growing demand for organic food all over the world, Kashmir Agriculture Department has for the first time introduced a complete organic market in Srinagar.
The organic food industry in the valley has been blooming with high demands. In the coming years, several factors are expected to push its growth. The government of India has projected the domestic organic food market to touch 1.36 billion US dollar by 2020.
The agriculture industry of Kashmir is worth rupees 1600 crores and the growth every year is leading to better changes. Organic farming in the Kashmir valley is being done on approximately 50 thousand hectares of land and has become an exciting prospect for the youngsters.
“We initiated this program 4 years back for ago for organic vegetables. There is a protocol defined worldwide under which we declare produce organic when cultivation reaches the fourth year which is free from all chemicals,” said Ajaz Ahndrabi, Director, Agriculture, Kashmir,
The growing use of fertilizers and pesticides on vegetables and fruits has forced people to switch to organic food. The Indian government through various schemes is supporting organic farming in Kashmir. Kashmir has large
This retail market in Srinagar offers organically grown vegetables. Its popularity can be gauged by the huge sales shopkeepers generate.
“People aren’t fully aware of organic food, we don’t use any chemicals for this. The government has provided us with kits of worming composite. My entire village cultivates organic vegetables only,” says Irshad Ahmad, an organic vegetable farmer.
Farmers say that this is taking them back to old times when farmers only used green manure instead of chemical-based fertilizers and Pesticides. India exported organic products worth 515 million dollars in the financial year 2017-2018. Now, the farmers are expecting the government to start these markets in every district of Kashmir to promote organic food & healthy eating.