Gangtok, 11 Jan:
Sikkim Organic Day 2018 will be celebrated with the theme ‘Transforming Agriculture for a Better World’ with a series of activities on 17 and 18 Jan at Saramsa Garden in Ranipool, East Sikkim. The event will be organized by Food Security & Agriculture Development and Horticulture & Cash Crops Development Department [FSAD&HCCDD] and will have the participation of farmers from different parts of the State along with stakeholders and delegates from in and outside the State.
It has to be mentioned here that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared Sikkim as the first Organic Farming State in the country on 18 Jan in 2016. Following the same, the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling announced that 18 Jan will be celebrated as ‘Sikkim Organic Day’ every year.
The two-day mega event will have display of flowers, fruits, vegetables, roots and tubers, spices, mushrooms, medicinal plants, cereals, pulses and seeds of the State at the venue. The event will also have competition in cabbage, cauliflowers, tomato and broccoli in vegetable category and in cymbidium orchids in flower category. The department has announced to present the Progressive Farmer Award to eight progressive farmers [two from each district] of the State. The award carries the cash prize Rs 25,000 each.
Addressing the press conference, FSAD&HCCDD secretary, Khorlo Bhutia informed that Acharya Bal Krishna from Patanjali Ayurveda, Haridwar is also scheduled to attend the celebration among other dignitaries. He informed that workshops on various topics of Organic Farming will have experts and scientists from the State and Central Departments and organizations. He added that the workshop will also be attended by 300 progressive farmers of the State on each day. He further appealed to all stakeholders for their participation to encourage farmers and to encourage them to increase the production.
The Secretary mentioned that following the announcement of the state government to ban vegetables from outside the State the departmental officials and field functionaries have been working on a war-footing basis on the field.
“We have been visiting wards and GPUs across the State and interacting with farmers. We have found that farmers are very happy and excited with the announcement of the government and it will provide a better market for their produce,” he said.
He added that the department has been running its area expansion programme and providing all necessary technical and other support to farmers.
The present requirement of vegetables in the State is 1.2 metric tons per year with the State presently producing 80,000 metric tons of vegetables per year, he informed.
“We are very positive and with the support of famers and concerned stakeholders we will able to meet the remaining 40,000 metric tons by the end of March this year,” he said.
He added that the government is committed towards making Sikkim a self-sustainable in vegetable production.
“We have been working on war-footing basis and everyone has to work together to provide pure and organic produce to the people of Sikkim. This decision is for the better health of the people of Sikkim,” Mr Bhutia said. He added that organic mission was not just related to crop production but also a contribution towards the ecology and environment. He informed that the notification on the vegetable ban will be issued very soon.
Mr Khorlo informed that two Kisan Bazaars in Gangtok and Namchi will be operational from April this year and two cold storage units of 500 metric tons capacity each are coming up at Gangtok and Jorethang.
He added that Sikkim's best practices on organic mission have already been acknowledged and adopted nationally and internationally. He added that Sikkim organic mission has been getting appreciation and recognition in national and international forums.