Shift to organic farming is the healthy need of the hour

Sikkim has made a complete shift to organic farming and substantially reduced public health risks to farm workers, their families and consumers

The most unique feature of Mother Earth is existence of life and the most extraordinary feature of life is it's diversity, which is termed as biodiversity. Sikkim is a small hilly mountainous state in the northeast, which is nestled in the Eastern Himalayas. It is essentially a biogeographic region falling within the Himalayan biodiversity hotspot that is home to the world's highest mountains.
Sikkim is also home to more than 4,500 species of flowering plants and several globally endangered wildlife species like the elusive snow leopard. The Government of Sikkim recognises the importance of biodiversity conservation and has hence set a framework for biodiversity conservation, which aims at supporting sustainable management practices to deliver long term benefits to the communities, environment, economy and the country as a whole.
In the words of the former Chief Minister of Sikkim, Pawan Chamling who has initiated 'Organic Sikkim', "The state green mission is a statewide prorgamme aimed at conserving Sikkim's unique natural environment for the current and future generations".
The new government under chief minister, PS Goley upholds this ethos and has been actively promoting organic farming. In the words of Goley, "The concept of organic agriculture has been in vogue now practically for over 15 years. In organic farming, crop cultivation techniques are largely in harmony with nature and there is no use of synthetic agro-chemicals. The farmers use animal compost and crop residue recycling as the principal soil fertility management."
Sikkim practices organically certified cultivation in compliance with NPOP (National Programme for Organic Production) and has been successful in making a complete shift to organic farming.
In organic farming, crop cultivation techniques are largely in harmony with nature and there is no use of synthetic agro-chemicals
Sikkim Organic Mission is also one of the important areas that the Sikkim Government has concentrated on. The organic movement of the state was given a formal approach by launching the Sikkim Organic Mission on 15th August 2010.
Representative image
Image: Representative image
This mission envisaged to promote Sikkim as an organic state, to brand the organic produce as 'Sikkim Organic' and outline measures that would discourage use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Simultaneously, the shift to organic manures and control of crop/plant diseases by biological measures was encouraged.
Developing the basic infrastructure essential to the initiation of actual organic farming in Sikkim, creating or developing market linkages for organic produce and formulating policies for organic farming were some of the pronounced objectives of Sikkim Organic Mission.
Needless to say organic farming is an intrinsic and vital part of the health and wellness ecosystem.
Mounting evidence shows that foods grown organically are rich in nutrients, such as Vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. Organic products also reduce public health risks to farm workers, their families and consumers by minimizing exposure to toxic and persistent chemicals.



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