S. Anbalagan, the Executive Director of the Government’s Sikkim Organic Mission. Some clear-cut approaches were needed to be adopted in Sikkim considering the various advantages and disadvantages as well as the prevailing scenario of fertiliser and pesticide consumption all across India. “We had to discourage the use of artificial fertilisers and pesticides and had to substitute chemical inputs by organic manures and fertilisers and biological plant protection measures,” he adds. “And we also had to initiate the establishment of basic infrastructure and statutory requirements to effect the actual organic farming process in the absence of a national policy, standards, accreditation, certification and marketing systems.“

In recent years, a number of studies have suggested that massive use of chemicals has not only degraded Indian farms, water bodies and ground water, but has also caused harm to human health. A study carried out by doctors in the northern state of Jammu & Kashmir has revealed that the use of pesticides showed direct links with growing incidence of brain tumours in parts of the state where pesticides are extensively used in orchards.