As the Sikkim Organic Day- 2018 concluded on Thursday, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling said it was high time that the rest of the country and the world realized the importance of organic farming. Citing the rampant use of chemical fertilisers in the rest of the country and the world, which is adversely impacting the fragile ecosystem, the CM added that going organic is the primary way in which global warming can be tackled to a large extent.

In the valedictory function he presided over at the Saramsa Garden at Ranipool near Gangtok, Mr Chamling, the Chief Guest, congratulated officials and the people of the state for ensuring the continued success of the Sikkim Organic Mission. The valedictory function was also attended by the Minister for Agriculture and Horticulture Somnath Poudyal. Also present were Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, Heads of Departments, officials and a host of progressive organic farmers of the state.

The CM spoke on the many ways in which “government policies like converting chemical fertilizer subsidies to organic subsidies can be devised and implemented to transform the world into an organic haven.” He also asserted that the greatest damage to the ecosystem has been done by mankind and that it is time for all of us to come together and work towards rebuilding all that we have lost and sustaining all that we have presently. “The declaration of the state as a 100% organic farming state was just the beginning and that the real task lies in sustaining and broadening the Sikkim organic story,” he added.

He called upon the farmers to engage in cash crop farming and also gave his feedback on the added benefits of medicinal herbs and plants like ginseng, chireyto and satuwab, among others. The CM highlighted the growing need for all town dwellers of Sikkim to maintain kitchen gardens and for all rural dwellers to ensure that not a stretch of rural land is left barren. The Chief Minister also said that 14 co-operative apex banks are functional in the state and called upon farmers to make the maximum use of this loan facility provided to them by the state government.

Mr Chamling further said that the 2nd phase of organic farming will see maximum production of organic vegetables and fruits for sale in the state, while anything in excess would be sent outside of the state for sale. Agriculture and Horticulture minister, Mr Poudal, thanked the Chief Minister for making Sikkim a model state, despite its small size. “A nation will only progress if its villages make progress,” he said.

Sikkim organic Day-2018 also saw farmers being felicitated for their organic excellence wherein Mr Chamling handed over cash prizes and certificates to the farmers who participated in various flower and vegetable display competitions. A total of 15 farmers were awarded certificates and cash prozes for securing the top three positions in five categories of flower and vegetable displays.