The entire state of Sikkim will be converted into a certified organic state by 2015. The schemes and policies are well tuned to realise that goal. Structured organic farming started in the state in 2003 when the government set up the dedicated Sikkim State Organic Board to promote farm techniques that prohibit the use of manufactured synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling, had also introduced a resolution in the assembly seeking to convert entire farming in the state to organic. Now, farming relies on techniques such as green manure, compost, biological pest control and crop rotation.” Over 8,000 hectares of land was covered under organic farming between 2003 to 2009. In a bid to make that state fully organic, various state government agencies have been working in coordination. The state government has completely stopped lifting of quota of chemical fertilizers extended by the Government of India since 2006-07 and all sales points for chemical fertilizers in public and private sector have been shut.
Sikkim government has also promoted large-scale use of bio-fertilizers and provides certified manufactured organic manure to farmers as an alternative to their chemical substitutes. In order to provide alternatives to farmers, 24,536 rural compost units and 14, 487 vermi-compost units were constructed in farmers’ fields till 2009. The bio-village programme was also adopted in 2003 and 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.
The state has launched the comprehensive ‘Sikkim Organic Mission’ as a nodal agency to implement and monitor the programme in time-bound manner. A state-level apex body with the chief minister as its chair oversees the implementation. Under the new initiative, the government has set a target to implement fully-organic farming technique by 2015. Organic products sell at a premium, which will benefit over 50,000 families in the state and promote organic agro-tourism.
According to latest data, Sikkim produces some 80,000 million tones of farm products, including 45,890 million tones of ginger, 3,510 million tones of large cardamom, 2, 790 million tonnes of turmeric, 4,100 million tonnes of buckwheat, 3, 210 million tonnes of urad daal and 20, 110 million tonnes of mandarin oranges. Significant portion of these products are already organic.
FIRST PRODUCTION IN NORTH EAST TO BE DOUBLE BY 2020
The Centre is planning to double the fish production in North-eastern region and aims at increasing its per capita availability to 15 kg by 2020 with a total production of about seven lakh tonnes. To achieve this target, the region will have to double its fish production in another eight years. The region being ‘rich’ in natural resources for development of fisheries, North East States provide an “ideal environment” for the same with a total of 14,648 km of riverine resources in the form of rivers, reservoirs, lakes, ponds, streams, flood plains and wetlands.
The region’s exploitation of aquatic resources has remained ‘low’, and expanding of fishery resources both horizontally and vertically can open up vast opportunities in aquaculture development. Presently, the region produces over three lakh metric tonnes of fish in a year with Meghalaya contributing 4, 577 MT, Assam 2.3 lakh MT, Manipur 20, 200 MT, Mizoram 2, 901 MT, Nagaland 6, 585 MT, Tripura 49, 231 MT and Sikkim 180 MT. Meghalaya Government is raising 100 fish sanctuaries to promote tourism apart from setting a target to produce 25,000 MT of fish in a year at the end of the 12th Five Year Plan. To achieve this, investment on fisheries in Meghalaya will be raised from a mere Rs 3 crore to Rs 1200 crore a year.