SIKKIM GEARS UP FOR

ORGANIC ORGANIC ORGANIC MISSION

Sikkim Organic Mission

Sikkim Organic Mission was launched in the year 2010 with focus on converting the entire agriculture land of the state to fully organic and hence Sikkim into a fully Organic State. A brand value of Sikkim Organic’ was promoted dicouraging the use of fertilisers and pesticides and were substituted by organic inputs such as organic manure and organic fertilisers. The mission established infrastructure and statutory requirements in the state.

Biofertilizer units were established, rural compost units and vermicompost units were created and Integrated Pest Management was facilitated. Soil testing laboratories were upgraded to facilitate the amendment of acidic soils. Government developed farms located at Nazitam in East Sikkim and Mellidara in South Sikkim and transformed into Centres of Excellence for Organic Farming.

Transformation of Sikkim into

First Fully Organic State

Sikkim was declared as the First Organic State of India on January 18, 2016, by the Government of India at the hands of the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during the Sikkim Organic Festival, organised in Gangtok. to commemorate the landmark occasion of Sikkim achieving fully organic status, January 18, 2016 onwards, is celebrated in Sikkim as the “Kisan Diwas” or “Farmers’ Day”. The commercialisation of Sikkim’s organic agriculture was steered from 2016 onwards.

Top Organic Products of the State

Temi Tea

Temi tea is an outstanding example of the success of Sikkim’s Organic Mission. It is branded internationally as an Organic Tea. The Temi-tea products can be categorized into “White”, “Green” and “Oolong tea”. The “White Tea” from Temi is among the most delicate tea varieties around the world. The “Green Tea” from Temi is known for its distinct steam distillation method and can be relished as a strong, mild, or flowery flavoured tea. This semi-fermented range of Temi tea known as the “Oolong Tea” is fruity, fragrant, and earthy. Currently, Temi tea garden produces 1,30,000 boxes per year with approximately 25 metric tonnes in retail sales.

Yacon

Yacon, also known as ground apple, produces crisp, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots. Grown organically in Sikkim, yacon syrup and powder are commonly used as healthy replacements for sugar as sweeteners in various foods. It can easily be grown in home gardens and requires very little expertise or farming experience. However, yacon can be grown only in a region where the temperature remains below 25 degree Celsius and hence, makes it ideal for cultivation in Sikkim. Popularly consumed as syrup, yacon is a plant with therapeutic value. It is rich in iron, potassium and antioxidant.

It helps boost the immunity system, improves cholesterol metabolism, it is nicknamed as diet potato as it is an effective weight loss agent, helps absorb calcium and magnesium, improves bone density, regulates blood sugar level, reduces triglycerides resulting in reduced risk of heart diseases, prevents colitis and yeast infections-improvesthe digestive system, prevents the growth and reproduction of cancer cells.

Large Cardamom

It is also known as black cardamom  and is 4-6times larger than small cardamom. It is popular for its use in spicy and rustic dishes. and also used as an active ingredient in several ayurvedic preparations. It has many different species ranging in pod size from 2 cm to more than 5 cm. Important varieties of Large Cardamom are Sawney, Ramsey, Dzongu Golsey, Varlangey , Golsey, Ramla and Seremna. Cardamom is cultivated in Sikkim in an area of about 12500 hectres and is one of the main source of income for the people living nearby the Chinese and the Nepalese border within the state.

Ginger

Ginger is used both as spice and medicine. It is cultivated in many parts of the state. The ginger growing areas of Sikkim are Tharpu, Gyalshing, Chakungin, Sumbuk, Namthang, Namchi , Rateypani, Rhenock, Rongli, Rangpo and in small pockets of North Sikkim. Ginger is rich in antioxidants, helpful in preventing or treating arthritis, inflammation and many types of infection. It also reduces the risk of diabetes and other illness and some people use it to recover from influenza.

Turmeric

Turmeric is conventionally used as a natural food colourant (orange-yellow colour). It is valued as an antiseptic for its anti-inflammatory property and also used in beauty treatment and in the cosmetic industry. It also helps in boosting immune system in human body. It is cultivated in unutilized and forest areas of Sikkim especially in niche areas having an altitude of 3000 ft above mean sea level and less. There is a huge demand for organic turmeric which is at present mostly sold locally within the state.

Strategies for implementation of the Organic Model that can be followed

The under-mentioned four strategies can be the key drivers in aiding the transformation towards organic model of Agriculture and Farming in a State

  • Farmer Level Strategies:

    Conduct of Awareness Campaigns to train the farmers. Formation of clusters and identification of groups to facilitate the channel of inputs supply, production and linking the products to the markets.

  • Policy Level Strategies:

    Reorient the current Agriculture and Farming policies to facilitate the gradual shift of transformation from Industrial Agriculture to Organic Model within a planned Gradual substitution of chemical-based fertilizers and pesticides with organic inputs such as organic manure and biopesticides.

  • Input Level Infrastructure:

    The land consolidation of agriculture and farming lands can boost the implementation of a successful model of organic Training institutes can be established to impart skills and orient farmers towards the organic model. On-farm creation of vermicompost pits, infrastructures to facilitate the production of organic manure and biopesticides can ensure the reach of organic inputs to the farmers.

  • Creation and Promotion of marketing structure and marketing policies:

    The success of the organic model is linked to the development and growth of the potential markets and linking the same with the producers to accelerate the growth of organic produc ts. The markets are required to be ascertained at not only the local level but also at the national and international level to facilitate export-oriented growth of the organic products.