Gangtok, 03 Apr:
The slated ban on non-organic vegetables and fruits from 05 Apr onwards has shopkeepers and vendors emptying most of their stock of non-organic food products.
"We are strictly following the government's policy and from 05 Apr people will get only organic food products in markets," held a fruit vendor, Chotu Prasad.
He also added that it would affect the pricing as organic products are costlier.
Another vegetable vendor, Suraj admits to loss in business but hopes that with time people will adapt to this change.
"We need support from the people as it is a movement," he says while appealing to the public to support the initiative.
While local organic products like fern, bamboo shoots and other vegetables will see rise in prices, the shopkeepers are also worried that this may also lead to rise in the price of non-organic products like onion.
A shopper in Lal Bazaar, Pema Tamang is amused at the visibly empty market free of non-organic products.
"We want rates of organic products to go down. Coming from a middle class family our concerns should also be kept in mind," she said.
The geographical location of the state is also being seen as an impediment with bad condition of the national highway and other infrastructural projects still underway. Going organic may cost a huge hole in the pockets of the average Sikkimese if the rates of organic items are not kept in check with a proper mechanism in place.
"We need more awareness in terms of pricing of organic products," remarked another shopper, Krishna Chettri.