- The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) was established by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act,1985.
- The Authority replaced the Processed Food Export Promotion Council (PFEPC).
- It functions under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- The Authority has its headquarters in New Delhi.
Functions of APEDA
- Development of industries relating to the scheduled products for export by way of providing financial assistance or otherwise for undertaking surveys and feasibility studies, participation in enquiry capital through joint ventures and other reliefs and subsidy schemes;
- Registration of persons as exporters of the scheduled products on payment of such fees as may be prescribed;
- Fixing of standards and specifications for the scheduled products for the purpose of exports;
- Carrying out inspection of meat and meat products in slaughterhouses, processing plants, storage premises, conveyances or other places where such products are kept or handled for the purpose of ensuring the quality of such products;
- Improving of packaging of the Scheduled products;
- Improving of marketing of the Scheduled products outside India;
- Promotion of export oriented production and development of the Scheduled products;
- APEDA is mandated with the responsibility of export promotion and development of the following scheduled products:
- Fruits, Vegetables and their Products.
- Meat and Meat Products.
- Poultry and Poultry Products.
- Dairy Products.
- Confectionery, Biscuits and Bakery Products.
- Honey, Jaggery and Sugar Products.
- Cocoa and its products, chocolates of all kinds.
- Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages.
- Cereal and Cereal Products.
- Groundnuts, Peanuts and Walnuts.
- Pickles, Papads and Chutneys.
- Guar Gum.
- Floriculture and Floriculture Products.
- Herbal and Medicinal Plants.
- In addition to this, APEDA has been entrusted with the responsibility to monitor import of sugar.
Why in News?
- APEDA is now considering implementing “Organic Aadhaar” for farmers engaged in organic farming under the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) to eliminate the possibility of bogus enrollment.
National Programme for Organic Production
- The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under the Ministry of Commerce & Industries is implementing the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP).
- The programme involves the accreditation of Certification Bodies, standards for organic production, promotion of organic farming and marketing etc.
- All types of agriculture, horticulture and non-food crops are grown under organic certification process.
- Livestock, aquaculture, animal feed processing and handling, mushroom production, sea weeds, aquatic plants and green house crop production have also come under the ambit of organic certification.
- Organic products are currently exported from India only if they are produced, processed, packed and labelled as per the requirements of the NPOP.
- As per the established norm of organic production systems, the areas having chemical input usage history are required to undergo a transition period of a minimum 2-3 years to qualify as organic. During this period, farmers need to adopt standard organic agriculture practices and keep their farms under the certification process. On successful completion, such farms can be certified as organic after 2-3 years. The certification process also requires elaborate documentation and time to time verification by the certification authorities.
- The NPOP standards for production and accreditation system have been recognized by European Commission and Switzerland for unprocessed plant products as equivalent to their country standards. It enables India to export unprocessed plant products to these countries without the requirement of additional certification. The equivalency with the EU also facilitates the export of Indian organic products to the United Kingdom even in the post Brexit phase.
- Similarly, The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recognized NPOP conformity assessment procedures of accreditation as equivalent to that of the National Organic Program (NOP) of the US.
- With these recognitions, Indian organic products duly certified by the accredited certification bodies of India are accepted by the importing countries. APEDA is also in the process of Bilateral equivalence with South Korea, Taiwan, Canada, Japan etc.