Sikkim sets an 'organic' example for India

Sikkim, the north-eastern hill state, is aiming to become India's first ''certified'' fully organic state by 2015 under a programme started in 2003 as officials said on Monday that organic farming has picked up in a big way among 50,000 farming families in the Himalayan state.
 
In 2003, chief minister Pawan Chamling brought a resolution to convert the entire state to organic farming in the state assembly, and constituted the Sikkim State Organic Board. More than 8,000 hectare land was certified organic till 2009.

Under the scheme, the state banned the sale of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

"The entire state will be converted into a certified organic state by 2015. Our schemes and policies are well tuned to realise that goal," Sikkim Agriculture Secretary Vishal Chauhan said in Gangtok.

The state government has completely stopped lifting the union government quota of chemical fertilisers since 2006-2007. The state government promoted large-scale use of bio-fertilisers and provided certified organic manure to farmers as an alternative.

"Now, our farming relies on techniques such as green manure, compost, biological pest control and crop rotation," Chauhan said.

Around 400 villages were adopted by the state government till 2009 to benefit some 14,000 farmers and 14,000 acres of land in four districts of the state.