Indian Organic Market Development Project(IOMDP)
1. Executive summary
In 2002, WEHU started a project to establish an independent certification agency in India (INDOCERT). Since then, this project has been very successful and indeed did over-perform the assumptions made in the business-plan. Thanks to INDOCERT, the Indian organic sector is now able to overcome the bottle-neck of certification. Despite the big potential for Indian organic products on the domestic and the international market (chapter 2), market opportunities emerged as a new short-term bottle-neck for organic farmers. An external evaluation ahs shown that our partners do need further assistance to position the term “certified organic” with a clear profile on the domestic market, to develop value-added-chains that can meet the quality requirements of the national and international market and coordinate the atomised organic offer in India (market transparency).
A need assessment carried out by an external consultant came to the conclusion that the export market can only be developed in pace with the domestic market as farmers must be able to sell their entire produce as organic (not only export commodities). Furthermore, both markets face similar shortcomings in the field of quality management. By increasing the standards and the performance of the domestic market (a requirement to meet the expectations of the target group “Indian middle-class consumers”), the Indian food-processing industry will eventually get fit for the export market. By simultaneously developing both markets, we can also reduce the dependency of the farmers and food processors and thus their risk.
Our partners in India were able to bring together the various stakeholders of organic agriculture in India. A result of this efforts was the set-up of the International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA). They raised the seed-money without any contribution of a foreign donor, what gives proof of their high commitment. The objective of ICCOA is to become the nodal agency for organic agriculture in India, this not only in the field of marketing, but also in production techniques and research.
This project is to be realized in close co-operation with ICCOA. FiBL and other Swiss consultants (annexe 2) will bring in the necessary knowledge, whereas ICCOA will implement the various project elements under their guidance. With this concept, we can – on the one hand side – transfer knowledge in marketing, market development and market intelligence to ICCOA – and on the other hand support our partners to develop the organic market. This without getting directly involved into institution building. Our co-operation with ICCOA is furthermore a guarantee that the project activities will continue after 2007.
A close co-operation is also foreseen with SIPPO on the export component. In a huge country such as India it is perfectly sensible that SIPPO concentrates on one niche market in order to be effective. We expect that it will be possible to mobilize the Indian private sector to further develop the organic market, once the frame-conditions are ready (market transparency, positioning of “certified organic” etc.).