Sikkim – First Organic State in World
Sikkim was declared the first “100% organic” state of India on 19 January 2016. At the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed confidence that it would soon attain the title at the world stage. And, this became a reality in October 2018. Pawan Kumar Chamling, the Chief Minister of the state, received the Future Policy Gold Award from the UN FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) as Sikkim became world’s first 100% organic state. Today, there is no use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers in the farming practices carried out in the state. All of its farmland is now certified organic. This has not only made agriculture more eco-friendly but also presented safer food choices for the people. The approach of the state is now seen as beyond just organic production and is considered a transformation for both Sikkim and its citizens.
The gold prize winner state beat other 51 competitors around the world. Quito, Denmark, and Brazil came second and shared the silver award. A film was also shown at the ceremony which showed how Sikkim made its way to the top through educating farmers, marketing, and research.
The World Future Council (WFC), which co-organised the function for the award, (also dubbed as the ‘Oscar for best policies’) stated that over 66 thousand farming families in the state have been benefitted from the new practices.
The tourism sector of the state, besides the farming one, has also profited largely as the state transited to become a completely organic state. It is evident from the fact that between the years 2014 and 2017, the number of tourists grew by more than 50%.
The model, based on principles of local circular economy and agroecology, has proved that a 100% organic agricultural model is not on only practical but also highly advantageous. More and more states are now geared towards following the model which Sikkim has been practicing for 15 years.