Pune: Realising the market potential due to the rising disposable income and the increasing number of consumers from Tier I and Tier II cities, who are now ready to pay premium prices for the healthier organic food, more and more farmers have started exploring the realm of organic farming.
According to Chairman and Managing Director of Netsurf Communications, a Pune-based direct selling company specialising in natural and herbal products, Sujit Jain, ‘Organic’ has certainly become a buzzword in today’s market and farmers are becoming more aware of organic farming practices and its benefits.
“Organic farming is picking up across Maharashtra. So far, 6.5 lakh hectares are under organic farming in Maharashtra. North Maharashtra and parts of Marathwada and Vidarbha regions are in the lead, as far as the adoption of organic farming methods is concerned. The state-level department is also supporting farmers who are adopting organic farming practices in their farms. Today, more than half a million farmers in Pune district are involved in organic farming and are using organic products on their farms on a regular basis,” he said.
According to Jain, with the rise in organic farming, the demand for organic products is also on the rise. “The current organic food consumption in India is not even 0.1 per cent of India’s total annual food consumption of $300 billion. That paves a way for the genuine manufacturer-marketers like Netsurf to witness many more ‘Organic Agripreneurs’ in the recent future in Maharashtra, and across the country at large,” he said.
Speaking about Netsurf, he said, “Netsurf offers around 49 natural and herbal products across four distinct categories - Health Care, Personal Care, Home Care and Agriculture. Biofit for Agriculture was our first brand and the product range helps in increasing the farm production while reducing the cost attached to chemical input in the farm, which makes it profitable. In addition, ‘Biofit farming’ eliminates the health risk linked to the residual effects of hazardous chemicals and farmers can expect a better price for their crops. In financial year 2016-17, while the contribution of Biofit range in Netsurf’s turnover across India was 43 per cent, in Maharashtra, this share was 53 per cent of the turnover of the state,” he said.
Adding about future plans for Netsurf, Jain said, “Looking at the increasing potential of our personal care products, we are already in the process of coming up with a manufacturing plant in Sikkim. To have a plant in Sikkim was a well-thought decision as we wanted the natural ingredients in their best form available. We are targeting to launch our first IPO in next five years.”