Sikkim, July 2016 : Sikkim a very small landlocked state situated in the northeast part of India which is known for its peculiar shape like thumb. It is a known attraction for the tourists, in a poetic words Sikkim is situated like an Emerald surrounded by diamond in a lush green ridge of Himalayas. West Bengal is at south side, Bhutan is at east side, and Nepal is at west side and Tibet china’s autonomous region is at the north side of the Sikkim. You can see the third highest mountain peak Kanchan Janga from Sikkim very easily. Sikkim is the second smallest state after Goa which is famous for its picturesque environs but also famous for its disciplined people and Organic Farming.
In the year 1976, Sikkim is included in India. The population of Sikkim is 6.75 million and majority of people gives priority to agriculture. As per the statistics, only 72000 citizens are doing job. Around 10 million tourists are visiting Sikkim which is a main attractive place for the tourists. Since there is no airport at Sikkim one has to travel by car from Bagdogra airport. The deformed turn roads, Tista River flowing aside, beyond boulevard trees and a glut of vehicles, still we can enjoy the travel with its scenic beauty, no vehicle is in a hurry to overtake. Drivers are motivated to drive very delicately and very patiently.
TERRE Policy Centre organized study tour for the experimental farmers from satara to get the authentic knowledge of organic farming from the farmers of Sikkim who have hands on experience and they are implementing it. The programme called ‘Sikkim to Satara’. Former director United Nation’s Environment & Chairman TERRE Policy Centre Mr. Rajendra Shende has shared this idea to Mr. Shrinivas Patil, Honorable Governor of Sikkim in one of the informal talks and the Governor has introduced us with the officials from agriculture department. Satara’s Agriculture Officer Dr. Changdev Ganpatrao Bagal, Purushottam Maruti Mane, Shivaji Kondiba Mane, Arun Ramchandra Mane, Chandbhai Badsha Aattar, Balasaheb Yashwant Ghorpade, Shankar Namaji Kendre these all are involved in the study tour organized by the TERRE Policy Center. Shri Bhutiya (Joint Secretary Agriculture Ministry) has organized the study tour under the guidance of Mr. Karlos Bhutiya and special attention was given to all the farmers that they will get good information who came from Satara. He not only personally involved for four days in this study tour but also given all the required and minute information through practical to his colleagues.
74.300 acre land is under organic farming. The main crops are cardamom, turmeric, ginger, potato, back wheat, rice, vegetables like flower , cabbage, carrot etc . State Chief Minister Hon’ble Pavan Chamlim and his Cabinet has started the movement of organic farming as there is need of healthy food and it’s a step to fight against chemicals in 2003 and in 2015 Sikkim has became total Organic successfully.
Honorable Prime Minister has declared Sikkim is 100% organic state in January 2016. Of course, they did special laws and strict enforcement of the same for doing the total state complete organic. The credit of the same not only goes to the local government but also to the society. Sikkim people never seen tired though they are facing challenges of hilly area, continuous raining & narrow roads. They never compromise while giving the facility to the tourists. I would proudly like to mention that though Sikkim people are less educated but they are rich in culture. While doing the legislation and its implementation in Sikkim, there were Oppressive laws but the laws were useful for all and they gives technology, sales promotion and publicity, as well as organic materials and certification for obeying the law.
Sikkim Government has successfully achieved 100 % share in organic agriculture production, production sale chain in promoting and boosting the tourism industry keeping the undisturbed natural chain. Cardamom, turmeric and ginger, back wheat are the primary crops of Sikkim. Sikkim produces highest percentage of Cardamom i.e. out of the 80% of the total production of India. Average productivity of this crop is 1200 to 1500 kg and the market value is Rs.1300 to Rs.1800 Rs. per kg. The green vegetable like cabbage, Radish, Navalkol has been produced and there is a huge demand in the local market.
Simbadiyam is the highest selling flowers in the market. Therefore, the state has established an independent Research and Conservation Center Lab. Many young girls are busy and engrossed to get the training of cultivating simbadiyam. Seeds are made available for cultivation purpose. There is a big demand to these flowers from India as well as from abroad as organic flowers. On an average Rs.250 has been charged for one flower stick. As per the season, this flowers season comes after the end of the season in abroad. Therefore, there is a good demand for these flowers in the international market too.
Nathula Pass which is the border of the China is one of the most visited points by the tourists. This pass connects India and China above 14 thousand 450 feet and away from 65 km from Gangtok. But because of the road conditions it takes more than 2 hrs. time to reach there. If the weather is good and sunny “Great China Wall” can be seen from the border. But one has to be very lucky to have this view. The Indian soldiers are well appreciated who are continuously guarding there. One thing felt very strongly during travelling and talking to the local people that tourists from Maharashtra are coming here continuously. Especially when Mr. Shrinivas Patil is appointed as a Governor, tourists from Maharashtra increased this has been informed to us by Tashi who accompanied us.
While finishing the tour various waves were dominating the mind. It is always happy to travel in mountains and valleys. While travelling through spindle, spiral roads adventure awake within us. Nature gives you the ability to balance.. It gives message that our life stays in between the road and the deep valley. Especially when we come for picnic and this type of study tours, the attraction of hill life will be always there. But the question is who is controlling the balance of life of the local people. Hats off to the life style and mentality of Sikkim people. They are profoundly proud about their state. While travelling through the roads which are hack scrobiculated, they don’t complaint about their government but gently say that this time roads are damaged early because of heavy rains. They have very positive attitude and different vision. Even though the productivity may less because of organic farming but when it comes to health they work passionately to transform the Sikkim as 100% organic. Salute to all those crusaders’ who are putting the efforts to fight against climate change.