India’s largest organic festival in the capital

The 5th edition of the ‘Women of India National Organic Festival’ was inaugurated by Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development, at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), on Friday.

From October 26th till November 4th, IGNCA will be the cultural hub of India’s most varied offerings of organic products from 26 States, ranging from food, wellness, personal care, home improvement, spices, staples, kitchen composters and for the first time ‘The Vegan Project’ and Food Court with cooked-on-site delicacies will also be available.

While inaugurating the country’s largest organic festival, Smt. Gandhi said, “The Women of India National Organic Festival highlights the health and environmental advantages of organic goods, provides a platform for women engaged in this field and encourages the development of sustainable and easily accessible sales outlets for women producers from the remotest corners of India. The festival has given a successful platform to empower women farmers and entrepreneurs in a festive and fruitful manner. It is a matter of great satisfaction for me that the Ministry’s efforts ultimately boost these illustrious rural women’s local communities and economies by creating jobs and keeping farmers thriving, in addition to spreading awareness about the benefits of organic products.”

Organised on an annual basis by the Ministry since 2015, the Festival celebrates and promotes women entrepreneurs and farmers in the organic field from across India. Participants from the remotest parts of the country travel and stay in Delhi free of cost for the entire duration of the Festival, while having the opportunity of selling their healthy and wholesome goods to the people of Delhi and surrounding areas.

To encourage more people to be a part of the organic movement, the Ministry changed the venue for the 2018 edition to IGNCA and has kept the Entry and Parking Free for All.

The Festival will have producers and manufacturers of Organic Products from 26 Indian States. Over 500 women entrepreneurs from Leh to Kanyakumari and from Kohima to Kutch, will come together with their organic products including 1,200 varieties of rice, several varieties of millets, cereals, pulses, spices, chilli chocolates, pumpkin seeds, cookies, pickles, jams, marmalades, chutneys, juices, dry fruits, organic ice creams, ready-to-eat meals and snacks, oils, honey, tea, coffee, mushrooms, herbs, cosmetics, hair care, bath care, skin care, aromatherapy products, solar products, kitchen composters, organic seeds, organic cotton fabrics, linen fabrics, seeds jewellery, fruit wines, handmade papers from cow, rhino and elephant dung, cow dung air purifiers, water hyacinth crafts and other bio products.

In addition to the organic extravaganza on offer, there will also be cultural performances during the 10-day festival, focusing on folk music and dance. Visitors will be able to enjoy and be a part of soulful Baul music and scintillating performances from the North-East, Punjab and Rajasthan, to name a few.

 With Diwali around the corner, Smt. Gandhi, who does her festive gifting with organic products, encouraged Delhiites too, to adopt this unique gifting idea. Apart from the novelty of it, the Diwali gifts would automatically convey the regard and concern for the good health of one’s near and dear ones, she said.

 The demand for Indian organic products is constantly increasing worldwide. India exported organic products worth $515 Million in financial year 2017-18. At present, the country is home to more than 8,35.   000 organic producers, 699 processors and 669 exporters. It is also home to more than 30% of total number of organic producers (2.7 million) in the world.Overall, the income and savings of a farmer using exclusively organic methods in agriculture increases by over 50% since there is no investment in costly chemical pesticides, fertilizers and preservatives.