There are roughly 6,000 certified organic farmers in the small northeastern Indian state of Sikkim, with its just over 76,000 hectares of farmland.
Photo: Sikkim Agriculture Department

16.06.2016

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Many years back the government of Sikkim – a small north-eastern Indian state in the Himalayan mountain region – had conceived the idea of going completely organic. Early this year, the project was put into practice. It remains to be seen whether the scheme is going to pay its way for the farmers.

In 2003, the government of the Indian state of Sikkim passed a resolution in the state assembly and enacted the policy of transforming Sikkim into a complete organic state. There were well-founded reasons for this. The hilly state in eastern Himalaya has a difficult terrain, and with its just over 76,000 hectares of farmland far less cultivable land compared to other agricultural states of India. Also, its agricultural practices hardly resemble those in the country’s other areas, where chemical fertilisers and pesticides form the backbone of farming. Pursuing organic farming as a state policy sparked off a movement and swiftly put the state’s organic agricultural movement on a fast track. Cultivation area under organic farming started adding up until it reached to its full capacity by the end of 2015, following a blanket ban on chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

Change of mindset needed

“It was a matter of patience, but thankfully we ultimately achieved the status of 100 per cent organic farming with the completion of organic certification of all agricultural land in Sikkim,” says Dr.

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