Agriculture has remained the spearhead of the Indian economy for decades. It is serving as a prominent employment source for more than 60 sixty of the nation’s population. Agri production in India has been witnessing a sharp rise since independence. The increased production of crops has offered culprits an opportunity to reap unethical income by leveraging malpractices like adulteration. In this blog, we will discuss Agriculture Mark.
With this in mind, the Indian government introduced the legislation namely Agriculture Produce (Grading and Marking) Act in 1937, which serves three fundamental objectives:
- Protecting the interest of the growers and the government
- Mitigating the undue exploitation of the agri-production
- Preventing health-related risks for the end-users
What do you mean by AGMARK or Agriculture Mark?
The legislation brought the concept of AGMARK, broadly known as Agriculture Mark.
The term AGMARK is composed of two words.
- AG- Agriculture and MARK- Certification
AGMARK refers to a certification mark that vouches for the quality of agri-production. It is also referred to as AGMARK Grading, which is a government trademark.
The issuing authority of AGMARK certification is the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI), which works under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare.
The DMI has defined various grades for 222 agri-based products. These grades help end-users determine how good the product is.
Products that fall under the AGMARK certification
Some of the products for which AGMARK grading has been defined are as follows:
- Vegetable oils
- Creamery butter
Who can apply for AGMARK (Agriculture Mark) certificate?
Whomsoever wants to apply for (Agriculture Mark) certificate must comply with the following conditions:
- The applicant must have the capable infrastructure for the processing of agri-based products.
- The applicant must either have access to certified labs or their own lab which test and certify the agri-based products.
Documents required for Agriculture Mark or AGMARK certificate
- A test report copy certified by the recognized AGMARK laboratory.
- Firm documents based on the legal structure such as Incorporation certificates, partnership deeds, and so on.
- Trade License or Shop Act License, whichever is applicable.
- Charter documents of the firm such as MoA and AoA.
- List of products for which the applicant is seeking the certificate
- Applicant’s name
- Firm name and address
- Production output for the last year in KG
- Firm yearly revenue
Note: Applicant is also required to submit a product sample in small sachets along with the documentation.
How to Secure AGMARK Registration/ Agriculture Mark?
The section below briefs out the process of securing AGMARK Registration/ Agriculture Mark:
Step 1: Visit agmarkonline portal
Any person looking to secure AGMARK Registration/ Agriculture Mark first needs to visit the online portal namely- agmark online.
Your next step will be account creation which you can complete by filling in the online form. The portal will send the verification mail to your registered email id to determine your authenticity.
Step 2: Application filing and document uploading
Once you log into the portal, make your way to the application form or e-form. Fill in the form with the legitimate details relating to the products, personal information, and so on.
Post-form filing, the portal will prompt you to upload the mandatory documents as mentioned in the above section.
Step 3: Inspection
After the online submission of the application, the respective Agricultural Marketing Adviser will initiate the inspection process. During vetting, the official will look out for any non-conformity against standards penned down by the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection (DMI).
The inspection may involve on-site vetting in which officials will thoroughly check the labs, processing units, and other resources for compliance.
Step 4: Grant of registration
If inspecting officials everything in a complaint, from paperwork to available resources, they will recommend the authority to provide the applicant with the certificate of authorization.
Note: The certificate shall remain valid for 5 years. The applicant can renew the same before the three months of expiration.
Key enclosures of the Certificate of Authorisation
The certificate of authorization enables the applicant to use the AGMARK logo on their agri-based products. The certificate will highlight the following information:
- The name and address concerning the authorized packer;
- The article for which the certification has been granted;
- The premises where the grade marking will be carried out;
- The validity of the certification
- The name of certified labs
- The name of the processing unit
- Trade brand label to be used by the applicant
An overview of the AGMARK labs
The Agmark certification is employed via state-driven labs which are present pan India. There is one central lab located in Nagpur. The rest of the labs that operate at the regional level are presently operating in 11 nodal cities, including New Delhi, Rajkot, Bhopal, Mumbai, etc.
All certified labs are resourceful in terms of testing ability and manpower. It is worth noting that not all labs may offer to test for all the listed products.
Securing AGMARK Registration/ Agriculture Mark is one part of the compliance. The real effort lies with the handling of the compliances that come into effect post-registration. The certificate holders need to abide by the underlying rules to stay compliant. In case of any non-conformity, the authority may prevent the license holder to use the AGMARK branding on their products. For more details, make sure to stay in touch with a professional firm.
Read our Article:Guide: Difference Between FSSAI And AGMARK Food Certification