In Sikkim, India, all farmland is certified organic.
Photo: © Sikkim Agriculture Department

World’s first organic state is honoured

The 2018 Future Policy Award, granted by the World Future Council, highlights policies that scale up agroecology to contribute to the protection of life and livelihoods of small-scale food producers, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement climate-resilient agricultural practices.

In October 2018, the World Future Council (WFC) took a look at the best policies on agroecology and sustainable food systems. The most outstanding projects were honoured with the Future Policy Award. 

This year’s winner was the “100% organic state” Sikkim, in India (Rural 21 reported on this in issue 2/2016), beating 51 nominated policies from 25 countries. Policies from Brazil, Denmark and Quito (Ecuador) took home Silver Awards.
 
Sikkim is the first organic state in the world. All of its farmland is certified organic. At the same time, Sikkim’s approach reaches beyond organic production and has proven truly transformational for the state and its citizens. Embedded in its design are socioeconomic aspects such as consumption and market expansion, cultural aspects as well as health, education, rural development and sustainable tourism.
 
The policy implemented a phase-out of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, and achieved a total ban on the sale and use of chemical pesticides in the state. The transition has benefitted more than 66,000 farming families. The state’s transition to 100 per cent organic has considerably boosted the Sikkim tourism sector, with  the number of tourists having increased by over 50 per cent between 2014 and 2017. As such, Sikkim sets an excellent example of how other Indian states and countries world-wide can successfully upscale agroecology.
 
The three Silver Awards were granted to:
 
• Brazil’s National Policy for Agroecology and Organic Production (PNAPO, 2012): In its first cycle of activities, PNAPO invested 364 million euros. Amongst others, it helped 5,300 municipalities to invest 30 per cent or more of their school feeding budgets in organic and agroecological products purchased from family farmers.
 
• Denmark’s Organic Action Plan (2011-2020, updated in 2015): As a result of the Action Plan, Denmark has the highest market share of organic products in the world, with almost 80 per cent of Danes purchasing organic food.
 
• Quito’s Participatory Urban Agriculture Programme (AGRUPAR, 2002): With over 3,600 urban gardens growing on 32 hectares and more than 21,000 people trained, AGRUPAR fosters food security, increases incomes, and enhances ecosystem functions.
 
The Future Policy Award is co-organised by the World Future Council, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and IFOAM – Organics International, with the support of Green Cross International, DO-IT – Dutch Organic International Trade, Sekem Group, Egypt and EcorNaturaSi, Italy.
 
For more information on the winning projects, download the brochure Scaling up Agroecology – Future Policy Award: https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/future-policy-award-2018-agroecology-brochur
 
(IFOAM/ile)

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