The policy that bought them the award, focused and achieved a total ban on the sale and use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers in the state. Sikkim’s organic farming policy is said to have benefited 66,000 farming families, thus giving a boost to the local economy.
Going beyond just the organic production, it also includes socio-economic aspects such as consumption, market expansion, sustainable tourism and rural development to ensure inclusive growth.
Praising the state’s efforts, FAO’s Deputy Director Maria Helena Semedo recognised how the state had set an outstanding example to ensure respect for people and planet by transforming the food system. When the government initiated this mission in 2003, it faced a lot of opposition from the chemical sector. However, with a strong political will, it was able to overcome the hurdles and turn completely organic by 2015. In 2016, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi declared Sikkim as the country’s first organic state, setting a benchmark for other states as well.
Several Indian states like Kerala and others in the northeast are now trying to follow a similar example.
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