Sikkim: India’s First Fully Organic State
Sikkim is a northeastern state of India. In 1975, the Indian military deposed the Sikkimese monarchy. A referendum in 1975 led to Sikkim joining India as its 22nd state of India. It borders China in its north and east, Bhutan in its east, Nepal in its west and the Indian state of West Bengal in its south. Sikkim is also located close to the Siliguri Corridor near Bangladesh. Sikkim is the least populous and second smallest among the Indian states. A part of the Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim is notable for its biodiversity, including alpine and subtropical climates, as well as being a host to Kanchenjunga, the highest peak in India and third highest on Earth. Kanchenjunga National Park in West Sikkim was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site by the world heritage site committee at its 40th session held on July 17 at Istanbul. Sikkim’s capital and largest city is Gangtok. Almost 25% of the state is covered by the Kanchenjunga National Park.
Sikkim has become India’s first fully organic state by implementing organic practices on around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land. With a population of around six lakhs, the state also known as the Land of Flower will now be known for its Organic initiative too. In January 2016, Sikkim state was officially announced as the country’s first fully organic state of India. Around 12 years ago, in 2003, the CM led government took this decision through a declaration in the legislative assembly and from their journey began. Over the years around 75,000 hectares of land has been converted into certified organic farms following the guidelines as prescribed by National Programme for Organic Production. However it had its share of struggle. Sikkimese farmers never depended on chemicals heavily but there was the use of synthetic fertilizers.
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. Improved the quality of the soil which further improves the standards of the crops produced there. Within 1.24 million tonnes of organic production in the country around 80000 million is supplied by Sikkim alone.
By:- Punnam Chhetri
Assistant Professor,Department of Agriculture
Uttaranchal (P.G.) College of Biomedical Sciences and Hospital