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Sikkim, India's first 'fully organic' state wins FAO'S Future Policy Gold Award

15/10/2018

India’s “100 per cent organic state” Sikkim has won the “Oscar for best policies”, conferred by the Food and Agriculture Organisation for the world’s best policies promoting agroecological and sustainable food systems.

Sikkim won the Future Policy Award 2018, beating 51 nominated policies from 25 countries, according to a statement. Policies from Brazil, Denmark and Quito (Ecuador) bagged silver awards.

The award is co-organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the World Future Council (WFC) and IFOAM – Organics International.

Sikkim became the first state in India to officially announce adoption of organic farming in the year 2003 to ensure long term sustenance of soil fertility, protection of environment and ecology, healthy living and decreasing the risk of health ailments.

In 2003, Sikkim stopped imports of chemical fertilizers in the State and since then the cultivatable land there is practically organic and farmers of Sikkim are traditional users of organic manure.

“Sikkim is the first organic state in the world. All of its farmland is certified organic. At the same time, Sikkim’s approach reaches beyond organic production and has proven truly transformational for the state and its citizens,” the statement said.

Embedded in its design are socioeconomic aspects such as consumption and market expansion, cultural aspects as well as health, education, rural development and sustainable tourism.

The policy implemented a phase out of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, and achieved a total ban on sale and use of chemical pesticides in the state. The transition has benefitted more than 66, 000 farming families. The Sikkim tourism sector has benefitted greatly from the state’s transition to 100 per cent organic as the number of tourists increased by over 50 per cent between 2014 and 2017, it said.

“As such, Sikkim sets an excellent example of how other Indian states and countries worldwide can successfully upscale agroecology,” it said. The 2018 Future Policy Award (FPA) commended proven policies that effectively scale up agroecological approaches at local, national and international levels. It celebrated outstanding examples for accelerating the transformative change in the way food is produced and consumed.