Countries / Territories

Country Profile India



    India fills the major part of the South Asian subcontinent (which it shares with Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh) and includes the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshadweep (formerly the Laccadive, Minicoy, and Amindivi Islands) in the Arabian Sea. The total area is 3,287,590 km2.  India is bordered on the North by the disputed area of Jammu and Kashmir (west of the Karakoram Pass), China, Nepal, and Bhutan; on the East by Myanmar, Bangladesh, and the Bay of Bengal; on the South by the Indian Ocean; on the West by the Arabian Sea; and on the North West by Pakistan. The monsoon is the predominant feature of India's climate and helps to divide the year into four seasons: rainy, the southwest monsoon, June-September; moist, the retreating monsoon, October-November; dry cool, the northeast monsoon, December-March; hot, April-May. The southwest monsoon brings from the Indian Ocean the moisture on which Indian agriculture relies.

    Agricultural Sector

    The agricultural sector in India accounts for 18.6% of the GDP and involves 60% of the total labour force. During the past five years the agricultural sector has witnessed a huge increase in the production and productivity of food grains, oilseeds, commercial crops, fruits, vegetables, poultry and dairy. India has emerged as the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. In addition, it is also the largest overseas exporter of cashews and spices. Other agricultural products include: cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry, and fish (FAOSTAT, 2005-06). The land use is divided as follows: arable land 49%, permanent crops 3%, other 47% (CIA, 2007)

    Brief overview of organic farming

    According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), organic production in India has been growing steadily in the last years. In India, there has been a remarkable growth in organic farming and 332 new organic certifications were issued during 2004. The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) reports a total 12,000 organic farms operating in the country in 2003. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) estimated 200.000 hectares of certified organic land, mainly cultivated by smallholder producers. Recently, an increasing number of companies, NGOs, farmer organizations, and government agencies have been promoting organic agriculture in India. The growth in organic production has been driven mainly by the increasing international demand, but the domestic market is also strengthening due to a large population and increasing wealth (IFAD).

    Brief overview of key organic products

    Certified organic produce from India includes tea, rice, bananas, cotton, wheat, spices (mainly pepper and ginger), coffee, nuts, pulses, and herbal products. Most of these products are sold in semi-processed or raw forms (IFOAM & FiBL, 2006). Most organic farms produce are for the international markets, but there is an emerging small domestic market.

    The network

    The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has set up a Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) in order to promote and support the organic sector in India. INDOCERT is one of the national certification body, accredited by NPOP, which has technical collaboration with FiBL and bio.inspecta and is financially supported by SECO. Organic production has attracted over the past years an increasing political recognition by the Indian government both at central and local level. In November 2006, the second edition of India Organic 2006 took place in Lalbagh, Bangalore. This organic business trade fair was organised by the International Competence Center for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA) with the active support of IFOAM and the Government of Switzerland (SECO). Both ICCOA and IFOAM set up a joint initiative in Bangalore. The centre aims at promoting nation wide adoption the principles of organic agriculture, taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the large development of organic stakeholders in India. There are on-going projects of organic cotton cultivation run by Maikaal BioRe India.

    Department of Agriculture & Cooperation
    (Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India)

    Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)
    (Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India)
    NCUI Building
    3, Siri Institutional Area, August Kranti Marg, New Delhi - 110 016
    Phone : +91 (11) 265 13204, 265 14572, 265 34186
    Fax : : +91 (11) 265 26187
    E-mail: headq(at)

    Thottumugham P.O.
    Alwaye - 5
    Ernakulam Dt.
    Phone / Fax: +91 (11) (484) 263 0908, 263 0909, 263 0910, 262 0943
    E-mail: info(at) 

    951C, 15th Cross, 8th Main
    Ideal Homes Township,
    Rajarajeshwari Nagar,
    Bangalore - 560098
    Tel : +91 (80) 656 82830
    Fax: +91 (80) 286 00935
    E-mail: info(at) 


    - CIA FactBook, 31.05.07

    - FAO, 24.10.2006: Key Statistics of Food and Agriculture External Trade. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Statistics Division.  and 

    - IFOAM & FiBL (2006): The World of Organic Agriculture. Statistics and Emerging Trends 2006. International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Bonn & Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Frick, pp. 108-117.

    - FAO Statistical Year Book, (2005-06)