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- CUTS International surveyed the sellers and consumers of organic food products in ten districts of Rajasthan.
- Around 62% sellers have confirmed selling organic products along with other non-organic products.
- 86% consumers feel that the changing pattern of organic consumption must carry on in future as well.
Jaipur: In the midst of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, with vaccine still awaited by masses, an intriguing development occurred at the global as well as the national level in the form of a remarkable surge in the sales of organic products in the country over last ten months or so, which has encouraged several organic retailers to come up overnight. This change has occurred because of the changing eating habits of consumers, who are turning to organic foods in order to enhance immunity against COVID-19.
CUTS International surveyed the sellers and consumers of organic food products in ten districts of Rajasthan with an object to ascertain the factors that drove the consumers to buy organic food products, specific organic food products that were preferred by the consumers, gaining experience, while purchasing organic food products and seeking consumer’s perspective on organic food products.
For sellers, the survey aimed to ascertain the demand of organic food products and source of procurement in the market, seeking to know the consumer preferences regarding specific organic food products and getting to know the preference to buy organic food products through physical contact or electronic means etc.
Around 62 per cent of the sellers have confirmed selling organic products along with other non-organic products; out of which 55 per cent have said that they purchase directly from the organic farmers, while 39 per cent say that they get it from distributors and other sources. With regard to the choice of products, 74 per cent believe organic vegetables, 6 per cent believe organic fruits, 13 per cent for grains and only 1 per cent believes that organic spices are on high demand. While 46 per cent of sellers confirmed that consumers do use various online platforms for buying, whereas, 52% confirmed that the consumers do come directly to buy.
In one of the most relevant question, as many as 91 per cent sellers have opined for growth in their sales during the last ten months of the pandemic, out of which 69 per cent confirmed a substantial growth in the overall income and 74 per cent even said that at many a time, they felt shortage in their stock looking to the growing demand from consumers and as such 77 per cent of this 74 per cent even turned up to farmers for providing more and more stuff to them.
While surveying consumers, 89 per cent of the total surveyed consumers have confirmed switching over to organic consumption mode, while 54 per cent of these 89 per cent says that they received the motivation through NGOs working on organic awareness programmes and the rest were motivated through other sources like family, friends, media etc. On a related note, very interestingly around 90 per cent consumers have felt a change in their overall health status, which includes a better immunity as well.
In the midst of the pandemic, 60 per cent of consumers found difficulty in searching or locating shops/outlets of organic products, which was more troublesome during the lockdown time. In another question, 72 per cent consumers have said that the cost of organic products is higher than the non-organic, which was more gruesome during the lockdown period but the better picture has been that in spite of all these, there has been an extraordinary growth in both sales and consumption. In the last question to consumers, 86 per cent feels that the changing pattern of organic consumption must carry on in future as well.
Looking at all mentioned aspects and indicators of the increased consumption of organic food products can be deduced from the results of the above survey, highlighting a reasonably big change in the numbers of both consumption and sales. Though the majority of surveyed consumers feel that it is difficult to purchase organic food products and the shopkeepers also face a shortage in supply of such organic food products. This shortage is illustrative of a vacuum present between the farmers, middleman and consumers of organic food products, which must be promptly investigated and rectified, or else, the very long term demand of organic food products in the market may be hampered.
Looking to all aspects and the opportunity, which the pandemic has given by default to both the stakeholders i.e. the consumers and the sellers, the trend towards organic consumption, which sees a growth during the pandemic period must continue even after the COVID-19 gets over as no one can assure that there will not be any more similar pandemics in the world in future. Rather, it should become a habitual routine among the end-users and if this gets converted into truth, then we can hope to be a fully organic converted nation by next few years.
Source: Thanks https://www.timesnownews.com/health/article/organic-food-products-consumption-is-a-growing-trend-in-rajasthan-amid-pandemic-survey/707073