Although the idea of converting the entire farming sector of Sikkim into organic was brewing in the vision of the Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling since some time, the movement started in Sikkim State Legislative Assembly during 2003 with the following historic declaration:
“I am pleased to announce a long awaited policy initiative in declaring Sikkim as a ‘Total Organic State’ meaning that the use of chemical fertilizers will be gradually done away with. You will appreciate that uncontrolled and haphazard application and use of chemical based agricultural inputs is hazardous to the lives of human being including livestock. In this context, I would like to illustrate one related episode from a newspaper featuring a story of birds which consumed affected insects from farm fields in Assam where large quantities of pesticides were being used. The story further talks about how farm rodents that devoured these birds also died and how finally snakes which consumed the infected dead rats also dies.
The chain of events is not only pathetic and fatal but also disturbs the natural balance between the prey and predator: a phenomenon which is naturally inevitable in the context of the law of nature. One need not look far to support this argument. For instance, Darjeeling hills which boasts of being the world famous tea producer was compelled to revert back to organic farming methods in order to win back the loosing demand from overseas in view of report that Darjeeling tea was being produced using chemical-based methods. The Ambootia Tea Estate in Kurseong is gaining prominence in the tea market because it adopted organic based practices. It is a known fact that the people are increasingly getting away of chemical-based products. The UK Government banned the use of 11 (eleven) chemical pesticides in the 1980s as this was considered to be potentially carcinogenic and attributed to birth deformities
and gene mutations. Further it is a universal fact that there is a growing appeal among people being in favour of organic based food commodities which fetch prices four to six times higher than chemical based products. In keeping with my Government’s concern for preservation of the sensitive ecology and environment, our state with an average fertilizer consumption rate of 5.8 kg per ha, is the third lowest fertilizer consumption state in the country.
Honorable members will agree with me that traditionally our farmers practiced organic farming and hence the possibility of reverting back to this age old practice is not difficult. Against this backdrop, I propose the following policy interventions towards realizing the vision of transforming Sikkim into a ‘Total Organic State’.
We will provide exclusive retail outlets for the organic based food products at the new Lall Bazar Complex.
A section of curriculum in school text books will be devoted to highlighting the practices and merits of organic farming.
We will make each and every farmer aware of the merits of organic food production and provide them with the latest technologies in this field”