Sikkim has produced about 80,000 metric tonne of various organic vegetables in 2016-17 after it became a fully organic state.
"We produced 80,000 metric tonnes organic vegetable in the state last year to showcase our commitment to organic farming," said Horticulture and Cash Crop Development department, secretary, Khorlo Bhutia. "These vegetables were 100 per cent chemical-free and grown over farm area of 14,000 hectares out of the certified land of 76,392 hectares for organic farming in the state under the first year of the Mission Organic Value Chain Development (MOVCD) in the North-East region," he said.
Despite this quantity of organic vegetable produced in Sikkim there was shortfall of of 1000 metric tonnes to achieve self-sufficiency, he rues but said that the target will be achieved through phase-wise implementation of the mission and the utilisation of the remaining farming land holdings. In the first phase of organic farming done in 14000 hectares in the first year to meet end-to end programme beginning from production to post harvest management, processing, branding and marketing, which will be completed in 2018, the Horticulture & Cash Crop Development secretary said.
As many as 24,000 farmers from 28 farmers’ organisations located 41 clusters produced different crops through organic method, he said. The farmers need to get maximum price of their produces for which a need to develop marketing network has been felt and for that a joint venture with IFFCO, one of the biggest farmers’ cooperative societies in the country, has been formed, Bhutia said.
The Horticulture & Cash Crop Development secretary said integrated processing units would be set up by next year-end under under Sikkim-IFFCO Joint Venture. Following in the footsteps of the Central government’s thrust on cashless transaction, the farmers will get various incentives and payments through e-vouchers under organic farming programme in the state, Bhutia said. Sikkim has also produced 100 metric tonne of Cherry Peppers (Dalley) and 100 quintals of organic Kiwi fruit, besides a number of major crops grown are grown under the pilot project in the state including large cardamom, ginger, turmeric, buck wheat and Sikkim mandarin, he added.