Sikkim is often referred to as the “Organic State” because it has achieved the status of being India’s first fully organic state. This recognition was officially declared in January 2016. The journey towards becoming an organic state involved a gradual shift from conventional farming methods to sustainable and organic agricultural practices.
Key reasons why Sikkim is known as the “Organic State”:
- Government Initiative: The government of Sikkim, recognizing the environmental and health benefits of organic farming, launched an initiative to convert the entire state into an organic farming state. This initiative aimed to eliminate the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
- Phased Transition: The transition to organic farming was implemented in a phased manner, with the government providing support and incentives to farmers to adopt organic practices. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides was gradually reduced and eventually eliminated.
- Banning Chemical Inputs: Sikkim became the first state in India to ban the sale and use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, reinforcing its commitment to organic agriculture.
- Certification: To achieve the organic state status, farmers in Sikkim followed organic farming practices and obtained certification for their produce from recognized organic certification agencies. Certification ensures that the agricultural products meet the standards set for organic farming.
- Promotion of Sustainable Agriculture: Alongside organic farming, Sikkim has also emphasized sustainable agricultural practices, including the conservation of soil health, water resources, and biodiversity.
- Tourism and Eco-Friendly Image: The organic status has not only improved the health and environmental conditions in Sikkim but has also contributed to the state’s image as an eco-friendly and sustainable destination. This has attracted environmentally conscious tourists.
Sikkim’s achievement in becoming fully organic is a notable example of a state-wide commitment to environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. It serves as an inspiration for other regions to explore and adopt organic farming methods for the benefit of both the environment and public health.