World Trade Centre in Ganesh Murti Nagar, Cuffe Parade will be the hub of India’s most varied offerings of organic products ranging from food, spices, wellness, personal care, home improvement, kitchen composters and solar products. Organized in Delhi on an annual basis by the Union Ministry of Women & Child Development since 2015, the Women of India Organic Festival 2018, celebrates and promotes women farmers and entrepreneurs in the organic field from across India. Participants from the remotest parts of the country will travel and stay in Mumbai free of cost for the entire duration of the festival, while selling their organic merchandise to the people of Mumbai. For the Festival’s debut edition in Mumbai, Ms. Juhi Chawla has been chosen as Brand Ambassador. Ms. Chawla has been associated with a number of meaningful social causes in India as well as internationally. In 2015, she was bestowed with the Indira Gandhi Memorial Award in Social Awareness.
Union Minister for Women & Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi explains the importance of making the shift to organic,“We are very happy to present Mumbai with healthy and pure organic foods. Organic Foods contain far more vitamins, minerals and nutrients than those produced with chemical fertilizers, pesticides and preservatives. For the nation too, organic farming is better as it ultimately reduces cost of cultivation by 25-40% and increases the incomes of farmers thanks to improved quality of production as also the quality of soil. For families, children are particularly vulnerable to pesticide exposure. Now with the affordability factor coming into organic produce, we should make a concerted effort to promote this sustainable alternative.”
After the unprecedented success of last year’s Women of India (WOI) Organic Festival in Delhi, the Ministry is taking the initiative to Mumbai.The Mahila Arthik Vikas Mandal, Maharashtra (MAVIM) is organising the unique 5-day event. This Festival of Organic Products will highlight the health and environmental advantages of organic goods and provide a platform to women engaged in it by boosting the development of easily accessible sales outlets for producers from the remotest corners of India. Organic farming relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost, vermiculture and natural methods of pest control. Further, ongoing research indicates that wild plants and birds are much more abundant around organic farms than around conventional ones. Organic plants and food crops have also contain higher amounts of salicylic acid which fights bowel cancer and the hardening of arteries that leads to heart conditions, strokes and other ailments.
Ms. Juhi Chawla, the Brand Ambassador of the Festival expressed her wholehearted interest and support “The festival is intended to highlight the health & environmental advantages of organic goods, provide a platform for women engaged in it & boost the development of sustainable & easily accessible sales outlets for women producers from the remotest corners of India. Our environment is one of my priorities & I like to associate myself with causes I feel for.’ ”
Mrs. Indra Mallo, VCMD, Mahila Arthik Vikas Mandal (MAVIM) promised that the Festival would be a memorable and insightful one for all women participants as well as Mumbaikars “MAVIM feels privileged to be the Organiser of the inaugural edition in Mumbai of the Women of India Festival. We aim to facilitate interaction between these women participants and organic conglomerates and also provide technical know-how of organic certifications and export market dynamics. We hope that they can establish new business avenues through this festival and have a memorable experience in Mumbai.”
This edition of Women of India Festival will feature capacity building technical sessions for women. AGRICULTURAL & PROCESSED FOOD PRODUCTS EXPORT DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (APEDA), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India will be conducting a session on the importance of ‘India Organic’ Certification and its processes. The objective is to bring clarity on the steps involved in applying for a certification and its advantages. The other session will focus on the business of sourcing organic produce and minimum standards required for exporting these goods. In the course of the festival, MAVIM is also organizing panel discussions on ‘Importance of Organic Produce in Preserving the Environment and Sustainable Business Practices’ and ‘Access to Credit for Organic Producers and Enterprises: Challenges and Way Ahead’. Eminent stakeholders from the government, international development agencies, corporates, banks, etc. will come together to ideate on promotion of organic farming.
The Festival in March will have participants from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Delhi, NCR, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Kashmir, Telangana, Rajasthan, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Manipur. Organicproduce such as cereals, rice, pulses, spices, cosmetics, household products, pickles, organic ice cream, oils, honey, tea, hair care, bath care, beauty care, aromatherapy products, solar products, kitchen composters, organic cotton fabric, linen, organic seeds and other bio products will be on sale in several exotic varieties.