Agriculture in Sikkim is not booming, it has become a boomerang: SKM

Gangtok, 09 Apr:

Sikkim Krantikari Morcha today slammed the bureaucrats of Agriculture and Horticulture departments for what they see as misguiding the government on statistics of production and growth in the agriculture sector of the State.

SKM working president, Navin Karki, said that the 18.71% of the Gross State Domestic Product that Agriculture contributed in 2004-05 has gone down to 8.62% in 2015-16. This, he believes, shows that the agriculture sector in Sikkim is “not booming but becoming a boomerang”.

Quoting the Medium Terms Fiscal Plan for Sikkim 2016-2017, Mr Karki said that the deficit of 10.09% during the last 10-12 years shows that the State government has failed in Agriculture sector due to various reasons known only to the Agriculture Department.

SKM has demanded a fresh survey of the agriculture sector, evaluation of soil health for suitable agricultural policy.

“The State wants to know how many Gram Panchayat Units have proper and enough drinking and irrigation water, how many of these villages have been facilitated with irrigation facilities as of now,” Mr Karki put forward the question stating that his party is not against the implementation of organic farming but against the way it is being implemented.

SKM also suggested a proper soil survey for farmers interested in organic farming, availability of seeds, water, manure, labour and capital.

It has also demanded a rollback of ban on agriculture products from outside the State, claiming that it should have been imposed phase-wise to overcome the deficit.

The SKM has also questioned the role of SIMFED as “middleman”, adding that the people want to know the motive behind engaging SIMFED as middleman.

“The modern day discourages middlemen, but in Sikkim it’s just the opposite,” he said.