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Sikkim, India’s First Fully Organic State, Wins UN-Backed Future Policy Award

Sikkim, India’s First Fully Organic State, Wins UN-Backed Future Policy Award
A paddy field in Sikkim. (Source - Twitter handle of Sikkim Tourism Department)

States and UTs

Sikkim, India’s First Fully Organic State, Wins UN-Backed Future Policy Award

Sikkim received the first prize; the second slot was shared by three countries.

Sikkim has won the first prize at the prestigious United Nations-backed Future Policy Award.  India’s first fully organic state was chosen for the award for its policies that have benefitted over 65,000 farmers and accelerated tourism, setting an example to other countries in the world.

The award was presented in Rome on Friday.

Gold Prize winner Sikkim was the first fully organic state in the world and all of its farmland was certified organic, the World Future Council 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 official statement on the award explained.

Tourism in Sikkim increased by 50% in the three-year period of 2014-2017, it added.

The second position was shared by three countries – Brazil, Denmark and Ecuador.

Brazil was conferred the award for its policy of buying food for school meals from family farms. Denmark had initiated schemes to urge people to switch to more organic food while Ecuador’s capital Quito promoted and boosted urban gardening.

(Read – Meghalaya’s Living Root Bridges: Where Nature Has Met Human Ingenuity)

Future Policy Award

The UN-backed Future Policy Award honours the “policies that create better living conditions for present and future generations”.

The award identifies one theme every year on which developing a policy is necessary to spread awareness and speed up initiatives world globally.

This year, the award was given for agro-ecology which covered avoiding chemicals, utilising crop residues as compost, controlling pests, planting trees, practicing schemes like crop rotation to improve soil.

According to the organizers, agro-ecology may increase output and income of the farmer, making farms less affected by the climate change.

Earlier, the awards had honoured the policies which helped fighting against desertification, water pollution, gender based violence and nuclear weapons.

The Future Policy Award has been co-organized by World Future Council (WFC), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and IFOAM-Organics International.

First Fully Organic State

Sikkim became the first fully organic state of India in 2016 by substituting chemical fertilisers and pesticides with sustainable alternatives in farming.

Approximately 75,000 hectares of agricultural land was transformed to organic land through implementation of organic practices and principles laid down in National Programme for Organic Production.

In 2003, the Sikkim government headed by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling had declared that they would make Sikkim a fully organic state.

Later, chemical inputs were restricted and their sale banned, leaving no other option than to switch to organic farming.

Resorts in the state now claim themselves to be completely organic where anyone can pluck, cook and enjoy fresh organic food from their kitchen gardens.

(Read – Neelakurinji Blooms After 12 Years, Kerala Looks At Revival Of Tourism)

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