Discuss the journey of Sikkim towards becoming India's first fully organic state. Do you think that Sikkim model can be emulated by the other states in country? Elucidate.
In January 2016, Sikkim officially became country’s first fully organic state i.e. the farmers in the state are using natural manure from cow in place of chemical fertilisers, pesticides or insecticides.
When Sikkim started its organic programme in 2003, only few farmers were using chemicals and remaining farmers had already adapted organic practices. From 2003-2016, the state government had implemented pilot programmes, including the adoption of ‘bio-villages’. Subsidies were provided by the state government in construction of vermicomposting pits, and farmers were encouraged to use bio-fertilisers and organic manure. The Sikkim Organic Mission was launched in 2010 with the aim to become fully chemical-free by December 2015. The state government opened special complexes called the “Sikkim Organic Market”, where organic varieties are sold generally at 20-25% more price than the conventional varieties. Provision of market linkage was given.
The state government began certification of lands by accredited agencies, which follow the standards laid down in the National Programme for Organic Production.
Penalty of Rs.1 lakh and/or imprisonment up to three months were imposed for using or storing chemical fertilisers or pesticides.
Besides Sikkim, states like Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan are the top three in India to have more area under organic farming. Kerala and Mizoram are also promoting organic farming. The centre should support these states to become full organic.
Globally there is an increasing demand for organic food. India should take this opportunity to increase its organic farming.