Sikkim is the first state in the world to become a hundred percent organic. This means that the state has successfully phased out all chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. They did this by imposing a ban on the sale of these dangerous chemicals. Sikkim has been awarded the Future Policy Gold Award in 2018 by FAO.
Where is Sikkim?
Sikkim is a tiny northeastern state in India. It is located in between Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal. It is a beautiful alpine state. Sikkim boasts of being home to a whole group of diverse flora and fauna. Many of the wildflowers and plants found in Sikkim have medicinal properties.
Sikkim is gorgeous with the views of Kanchendzonga mountain range. Sikkim is home to Buddhist monasteries and they are an integral part of the Sikkimese culture.
Agriculture in Sikkim
Sikkim’s population depends on agriculture. At least 80% of the rural population depends on farming. Sikkim grows a variety of crops for a small state. Some of the crops grown in Sikkim are:
- Finger Millet
Sikkim’s organic mission
Sikkim Organic Mission or SOM was started in the year 2003 to protect the state’s fragile ecosystem. Since then, Sikkim has reduced the subsidy on fertilizers and pesticides by 10 percent every year. By 2014, they were able to ban it completely.
What did Sikkim start?
Sikkim produces good amounts of ginger and cardamom. The state introduced the distribution of bio fertilizers and bio pesticides. They also created vermicomposting pits to increase productivity.
Sikkim has also provided farmers with methods to manage pests organically. They’ve introduced composting mechanisms and tried to help farmers produce their own bio inputs.
Sikkim: an inspiration
Many states in India are now looking to follow Sikkim’s suit. These states include:
- Andhra Pradesh
- Himachal Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
Kerala has declared its intention to become a 100 percent organic state as well. But it would do to keep in mind the pitfalls that Sikkim has faced.
The Sikkim model is not a fool proof one. There have been many drawbacks and it would do well to learn from them. Stay tuned for the next article to know more!