The change of guard in Sikkim has pushed the state’s much-hyped organic agriculture mission under a cloud of uncertainty with new chief minister Prem Singh Golay saying he would not force it on farmers and that the programme had largely been only on paper.
The tiny Himalayan state with a population of 6.11 lakh (2011 census) which shares borders with China, Nepal and Bhutan, was declared fully organic in January 2016. The organic mission which kicked off in 2010, brought accolades to the state at home and abroad.
“The organic farming mission was restricted to only on paper and did not take place at the ground level. We would certainly support the mission but would not force it on the farmers,” Prem Singh Golay told HT in an interview.
Golay who led the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha to power ending a 25-year rule by Pawan Chamling’s Sikkim Democratic Front criticized the SDF government saying, “The earlier government had only created hype. We will provide technical, financial and marketing support to the organic farmers, but will leave it to the farmers whether they would go for organic farming,”
Golay took charge as chief minister on May 27.
Government officers, traders and farmers were of the opinion that though the objective of the organic mission was laudable, it was not feasible to implement it in a very short period of time.
“The hype created by the mission brought accolades to the state, but it can’t be termed a success,” said an agriculture scientist, who works for the government and did not wish to be named.
But the SDF defended its organic farming mission.
Updated by: Newsner source 2019-07-03 3:45 PM