Sikkim shows India can emerge global organic hub: Narendra Modi

New Delhi, Jun 11: Taking the example of Sikkim, which will soon become a fully organic state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday said India’s entire north-eastern region can emulate this model to make the country a global hub for such produce.

“Sikkim is a small state. It is sparsely populated. But is set to become a fully organic state soon. This is a matter of pride,” Modi said in the Lok Sabha in his reply to the debate on President Pranab Mukherjee’s address to a joint session of parliament Monday.

“There is a major demand for organic produce in the world today. People today are very much interested in ‘holistic healthcare’. They are willing to pay any amount of money for such organic products,” he said.

“If a small state like Sikkim can do it, why can’t we dream of developing the whole of our north-east as an organic state? The Government of India will help it in capturing the global market,” the prime minister added.

“The farmers of Sikkim have put in some hard work. This has to be expanded. Once than happens, the lives of people living these hilly states will change for the better,” he said. Sikkim started eco-friendly farming in a small area about 10 years ago and had set its eyes on emerging as a certified, fully-organic state by the end of next year. State government officials told IANS a month ago that they were well on target.

The state government, in fact, stopped lifting its quota of chemical fertilisers from the central government since 2006-07 and all sales points for such nutrients were shut. The state even set up the Sikkim State Organic Board to realise this goal. Chief Minister Pawan Chamling had also introduced a resolution in the state assembly to convert entire farming in the state to organic. Thanks to the organic board the farming there now relies on green manure, compost, biological pest control and crop rotation.