Sikkim has become India’s first fully organic state by implementing organic practices on around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land.
Around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land was gradually converted to certified organic land by implementing organic practices and principles as per guidelines laid down in National Programme for Organic Production.
Sikkim is a landlocked state nestled in Himalayas with no train or commercial flight connectivity till date.
Though sikkimese farmers never depended on chemicals heavily but there was the use of synthetic fertilizers. It was when the state banned its use that the farmers were compelled to go the organic way.
Organic cultivation doesn’t involve the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers and thus helps to maintain a harmonious balance among the various complex ecosystems. Also it has improved the quality of the soil which further improves the standards of the crops produced there.
Within 1.24 million tonnes of organic production in the country around 80000 million is supplied by Sikkim alone.
It was 12 years ago in 2003 when the Pawan Chamling government decided to make Sikkim an organic farming state through a declaration in the legislative assembly.
Later the entry of chemical inputs for farmland was restricted and their sale banned. Farmers therefore had no option but to go organic.
In the long term, organic farming leads in subsistence of agriculture, bio-diversity conservation and environmental protection.
Sustainable farming will also help in building the soil health resulting in sustainable increased crop production.
Besides it will also boost the tourism industry in the tiny landlocked Himalayan state.
Resorts have already been marketing themselves as completely organic where tourists can pluck, cook and relish fresh organic food from their kitchen gardens.
As an entirely organic it can now boast of being a state where the tourists can savour fresh organic vegetables in the heart of Himalaya.
Sustainable farming goes a step ahead as it provides environmental protection, bio diversity conservation and better agricultural products. It also lowers down pollution thus maintaining the fragile ecosystem of the Himalayan state.
Bestowed with varied agro-climatic conditions, some of the major crops produced in Sikkim are cardamom, ginger, turmeric, off-season vegetables, flowers, Sikkim mandarin, kiwi, buck wheat, paddy maize and millets.
Setting an example for the entire nation, Sikkim now join hands with the organic states of the foreign countries like California, Wisconsin among others. Several other parts of India now also inspire the same and working hard to achieve the status. Leading the race is Kerala followed by Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.