Sikkim became the first state in India to officially announce adoption of organic farming in the year 2003 to ensure long term sustenance of soil fertility, protection of environment and ecology, healthy living and decreasing the risk of health ailments. In 2003, Sikkim stopped imports of chemical fertilizers in the State and since then the cultivatable land there is practically organic and farmers of Sikkim are traditional users of organic manure.
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 sale and use of chemical pesticides in the state. The transition has benefitted more than 66, 000 farming families. The Sikkim tourism sector has benefitted greatly from the state’s transition to “100 per cent organic” as the number of tourists increased by over 50 per cent between 2014 and 2017, according to a statement by FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
It’s no wonder Sikkim has won the “Oscar for best policies”, conferred by the Food and Agriculture Organisation for the world’s best policies promoting agroecological and sustainable food systems. Sikkim won the Future Policy Award 2018, beating 51 nominated policies from 25 countries. Policies from Brazil, Denmark and Quito (Ecuador) bagged silver awards. The award is co-organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the World Future Council (WFC) and IFOAM – Organics International.
“As such, Sikkim sets an excellent example of how other Indian states and countries worldwide can successfully upscale agroecology,” said the statement. The 2018 Future Policy Award (FPA) commended proven policies that effectively scale up agroecological approaches at local, national and international levels.
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. It has also improved the quality of the soil in Sikkim which further improves the standards of the crops produced there. Out of 1.24 million tonnes of organic production in the country around 80,000 million is supplied by Sikkim alone.