KERALA

German team to visit Indocert

KOCHI, AUG. 21. A two-member team from the German accreditation agency, DAP, is expected to arrive in the city in September to inspect Indocert, the certification agency based at Aluva.

This has brightened the chances of Indian farmers receiving permission for exporting their produce to the European Union (EU) countries.

The team will conduct inspections for granting accreditation to Indocert. Once it gains accreditation, Indocert will be able to give certification to the local farmers that would be valid for export to the European Union.

U.S. accreditation

Indocert was also trying for accreditation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to enable exports to the U.S., Mathew Sebastian, executive director, Indocert, said. The documents including the operating manual have been sent to the USDA.

Getting accreditation from the international bodies is an important step in the process of providing encouragement to the increasing number of organic farmers in the country. Only with the certification given by an internationally- accredited agency would the markets in the European Union and the U.S. open up for the Indian farmers. At present, Indocert is only giving co-certification to farmers.

Indocert is planning to open an office in Nasik by October, with an increasing number of grape and pomegranate farmers in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh showing interest in converting to the organic mode of cultivation. At present, three training camps are being conducted at Nasik for Agriculture officers from Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra as well as the leading farmers from these States.