In a global first, India’s 3.3-lakh organic export farms are now GPS-tracked, a technology leap aimed at giving it an edge over competitors like China and the US.
Backed by a 26-digit barcoding system and satellite surveys, every consignment of grapes or rice exported can now be traced back to the specific fields it originated in.
The “traceability system”, as it is called, was implemented recently by APEDA, a commerce ministry body monitoring farm exports. Lack of a food-recall system had nearly blocked Indian grape export to the EU a few years ago.
In case of defects or complaints, farms or growers can be pinned down instantly from identity tags on shipments. “Corrective measures can be taken right at the farm level,” APEDA assistant general manager Sudhanshu told HT.
India’s organic exports touched $116 million in 2008-09. The track-back system will greatly boost confidence of importing countries, APEDA general manager Pravin Gupta said.