Sikkim is known as the world’s first 100% organic state. It received the Future Policy Gold Award in 2018 from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation after beating 51 states from around the world. Sikkim started this journey in 2003 by becoming the first Indian state to officially announce the adoption of organic farming. From banning the import of chemical fertilizers to initiating compulsory training on organic farming, the state took several steps to achieve this status. Let’s look at it in detail:
How did Sikkim become fully organic?
Sikkim’s former Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling was determined to create a sustainable and environment-friendly livelihood for the Sikkimese people. He made it possible by formulating a State Policy on organic farming in 2004 and Sikkim Organic Mission in 2010. The policies included all the measures required to achieve the target of becoming a fully organic state.
The government popularized its mission by opening training centers and by including organic farming programs in the school curriculum. In 2016, the National Organic Farming Research Institute was established not only for Sikkim but for the whole northeast region in India. According to experts, Sikkim has now become one of the few places in India which provides lucrative employment opportunities to its youth.
Sikkim gradually phased out the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and put a complete ban on their sale. In the process, it also eliminated subsidies to farmers for the procurement of chemical pesticides. Several training programs were also started on how to produce organic inputs such as organic pesticides, compost, vermicompost, etc. As of today, practices like the use of green manure and liquid manure like cow dung and urine, mulching, etc. are commonly followed in Sikkim. Being environment friendly, these techniques take care of the soil’s health and complement sustainable agriculture.
The initiative of going organic has proven to be truly transformational for Sikkim. Today, more than 66,000 families have benefitted from this policy. Apart from this, the state’s organic image is also helping it in growing tourism.
Organic farming is the future of our country and Sikkim has proven it true. Currently, there is a limited supply of organic food as compared to its demand. However, an efficient supply chain can help fill the gap. Agri-trading platforms like Bijak contribute a lot to improving agricultural supply chains by connecting suppliers, buyers and commission agents in Mandis. ChargeERP is another digital innovation offered by them for commission agents.
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