International organic fair kicks off in Bangalore

BioFach India 2012, the fourth international organic trade fair, was inaugurated at the Palace Grounds in the city on Thursday.

Claiming that this was the biggest expo in the organic sector, the organisers said there are 141 stalls with 83 private exhibitors and 16 international exhibitors, along with eight State pavilions, including Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Inaugurating the expo, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said the State had made significant improvements in the field of organic farming.

“The organic movement in the State was started in the last decade by progressive farmers, NGOs and was supported by the State government,” he said. Although some level of self-sufficiency had been achieved by using fertilisers and chemicals, the overuse of the same had resulted in serious environmental degradation and health hazards to both humans and animals, Shettar said.

The event, organised jointly by Nurnberg Messe, the State Department of Agriculture and the International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA) will showcase some of the biggest global brands in the next two days. A series of conferences and other activities are also part of the event.

ICCOA Executive Director Manoj K Menon said: “While showcasing the organic opportunities in India and emerging global trends, the conference will also focus on the important connect of organic agriculture to sustainability.”

The latest edition of BioFach will have various interesting sessions like ‘consumer connect programme’, ‘school connect programme’ and farmers’ workshop. Noting that there was an increasing lack of awareness among children on the food that is on their plates, the organisers said the school connect programme was aimed at enhancing awareness among children.

“This year, we will have a buyers’ delegation and business-to-business meets. The delegation of buyers are from Europe, United States and the Middle East and they will be taken on a visit to organic farms in Coorg, Bidloor and to food parks around Karnataka,” the organisers said.

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