Organic farming is an agricultural system that uses biological fertilizers derived from plant and animal wastes. Organic farming enhances agro-ecosystem health, which includes soil biological activity, biodiversity, and biological cycle. It excludes the use of chemical or synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and growth regulators.
Favorable growth of organic agricultural practices all over the world coupled with regional government initiatives to promote organic farming is boosting growth of the global organic farming market. According to Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) report, in 2014, over 44.4 million hectares of land is occupied by organic agricultural activities. In 2015, the regions with the largest areas of organic agricultural land are Oceania (22.8 million hectares, which is almost 45 percent of the world’s organic agricultural land) and Europe (12.7 million hectares, 25 percent). The countries with the most organic agricultural land include Australia (22.7 million hectares), Argentina (3.1 million hectares), and the United States (2 million hectares).
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North America held a significant market share in the global organic farming market in 2017, owing to increasing demand for organic food in the region. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), in 2016, the farms in the U.S. produced and sold US$ 7.6 billion in organic commodities that are certified. Also, the Certified Organic Survey 2016, shows that sales of organic farm were increased up to 23% in 2016, compared to the previous year in U.S.
The global organic farming market accounted for 50.9 million hectares of organic agricultural farmland in 2015 and is expected to expand at a growth rate of 8.4% by 2026 during the forecast period (2018-2026).
Asia Pacific was the fastest growing region and held the highest market share in 2017, owing to increasing government initiative in promoting organic farming by providing subsidies on organic fertilizers. For instance, in 2013, the government of India promoted production of organic fruits, vegetables, and crops through various schemes such as Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States (HMNEH), National Horticulture Mission (NHM), Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), and others. Under NHM, the government provides incentive to the cultivators of organic products.
Europe is expected to show a significant market growth and accounted for 25% share of the global organic farming market in 2017, owing to stringent rules and regulations on chemical or conventional fertilizers and GMO products in this region. For instance, in April 2018, the European Union announced to ban the widely used insecticides (neonicotinoids) to protect honeybees and other insects vital for food production from all fields. These can be only used in closed greenhouses. Furthermore, in 2010, the government banned the supply of ammonium nitrate fertilizers containing more than 16% of nitrogen. These factors are positively impacting growth of the organic farming market.
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Major players operating in the global organic farming market include Picks Organic Farm, Organic Farmers Co., The Indian Organic Farmers Producer Company Limited (IOFPCL), Bayer AG, Camson Bio Technologies Limited, and ZUWA Organic Farms Pvt Ltd among others.