FPO-Sikkim welcomes ban on non-organic veggies as being in interest of local farmers

Gangtok, 02 May:

Farmer Producer Organisation [FPO], Sikkim, today stressed that the recent ban on the import of non-organic vegetables from outside the State was in the interest of the farming community of Sikkim. While welcoming the decision of the State Government (which came into effect on 31 March 2018), the organisation has appealed to all political parties and the people of Sikkim to support the organic mission.

Addressing a press conference here today, FPO-Sikkim president, Karma Dichen, said, “On not getting the right price for our organic produce, farmers of Sikkim had repeatedly requested the State Government to ban non-organic vegetables from the outside. We express our gratitude to the State government for having accepted our request and for taking this historic decision in the interest of farmers of Sikkim.”

He added that farmers here have been getting the right price for their produce since the ban.

He also expressed his surprise over the protest by political parties and some individuals on the decision of the government.

“Although some sections of the people are not ready to understand the value of this decision at present, they will get convinced upon seeing the fruits of this decision in the coming years,” he expressed.

Mr Dichen stated that the organic mission of Sikkim has been acknowledged in the national and international levels and to question its veracity was to doubt the credibility of the farmers of Sikkim.

He also demanded that the State Government provide insurance of vegetables and medical support to local farmers. He asserted that local farmers will come out on the streets if non-organic vegetables are smuggled for sale in Sikkim.

Human Life Reformation & Capacity Building Society president, Kishor Sharma also appreciated the decision of the State government today.

“Organic farming is now a movement of the farmers of Sikkim. Our society has been working to promote organic farming and to make each farmer of Sikkim an ambassador of organic farming to take this mission to every household in Sikkim,” he said.

Responding to media queries, he stated that the State has the surplus production of seasonal vegetables and added that farmers have been working hard to ensure surplus production of every vegetable.

He added that the ban was a big opportunity for farmers to do well in organic farming. He also held that middlemen were responsible for higher price of vegetables in the market and the opening of Kisan Bazaar and organic stalls in the State have been addressing this issue.

The press conference was also addressed by FPO treasurer, Dawthi Lepcha and member, Amrit Pradhan.