We also recommend using raised beds instead of flat beds for cultivating ginger,” Siddhi Karnani states. The prices the farmers get for organic produce are at least 20 per cent higher than those of non-organic products.

Hope for rural youth

According to S. Anbalagan, everything is in place for taking organic farming in Sikkim to new heights. “Now all the necessary groundwork has been done. People, especially the youth of the country, only need to exploit this situation to create employment opportunities for themselves and capital for the state,” Anbalagan says. Renzino Lepcha, Chief Operating Officer of Mevedir, an agriculture company which provides services to Sikkim farmers through the Sikkim Organic Mission, fully agrees: “Thanks to the recent budgetary announcement in the union budget and the declaration of Sikkim as a complete organic state, more opportunities will come up in the employment sector as infrastructure will now be taken care of with the advent of more resources.” According to Lepcha, younger people had mostly shifted to urban areas.