Organic Movement in Policy Planning — Sikkim’s Contributions to Nation
The futuristic vision of Shri Pawan Chamling, Sikkim’s Contributions to Nation of converting the State to fully organic initiated a new era in the history of organic agricultural movement in the country. Organic agricultural movement, so far spearheaded by the innovative farmers and civil society organizations entered policyplanning process. Many other states started to define policies and declared their intention to embrace organic agriculture in one or the other way.
He made a historic declaration by announcing a policy to tansform Sikkim into totally organic State by passing a resolution in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly in the year 2003. With this, Sikkim became the FIRST State in the country to enact such a far sighted and visionary policy.
Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, this small state of the country was untouched by developments that was taking place in the other parts of the country and the use of synthetic chemicals already minimal and much below the national average. Additionally, owing to difficult terrain and low cultivable land where agriculture was practised on a sustainance level, going the organic way was seen as an opportunity that was lying untapped so far.
With Sikkim being a trend setter in this hitherto unexplored niche sector in the country, the decision has led to far reaching consequences in all other sectors of the population including general well being, health of the populace and prosperity and Gross Happiness Index in the State. Tourism which is a priority sector of the Government was further boosted by this bold decision. Organic farms and resorts set up accross the State provided an impetus for further growth of the Tourism industry in the form of ‘Organic Tourism’.
The ban of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides at local level has led to reduction in the use of fossil fuels and emmission of green house gases in addition to sequestering native soil and ecology of the State thereby playing an important albeit small role in mitigating the effects of climate change which is very significant in the fragile Himalayan ecosystem.
A biodiversity hotspot, conservation of the flora and fauna especially the rare and endangered species endemic to this part of the country has been noteworthy, a consequence of organic farming in the state.
Such historic declaration led to major policy changes at the national level and also in various states. Accordingly, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India and many other state governments took major steps for promotion of Organic Agriculture.