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Sikkim’s organic mission gets booster from CM Chamling

Gangtok : Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on Tuesday made a slew of announcements to supplement the ongoing efforts of his government and other stakeholders in making Sikkim a fully organic state by the end of 2015. He also issued strict directives to panchayat officials, field level officers and agriculture department staff members to focus totally towards the implementation of the mission. The chief minister was addressing a gathering of panchayat heads from the four districts, bureaucrats and public representatives as part of the state level orientation programme on the Sikkim Organic Mission. Chamling suggested the introduction of Parmi Culture in the state. According to him, this scientific method of mixed farming is eco-friendly and will ensure ecological balance and sustainability. He called on the stakeholders to graduate from the practice of monoculture and embrace mixed farming or parmi culture for economical and ecological sustenance. 

The chief minister appealed to the audience to think seriously on the prospects of introducing this new method of agriculture in Sikkim. Chamling explained the organic mission aims at providing farmers of Sikkim with the optimum benefits that agriculture can provide. The mission is the translation of a vision to rid the earth of harmful chemicals that have the potential to endanger human and environmental health, he pointed out. The chief minister made it clear that the state will not import any seeds/seedlings from outside from now onwards. Sikkim will thus be producing seeds indigenously and will soon have the capacity to sell surplus seeds. The government will devise mechanisms to market these seeds nationally and internationally, which will prove to be very lucrative for those engaged in this field. Further, Chamling assured his government would address teething problems faced by farmers while marketing their produce and support them in the event of damage to crops due to unforeseen circumstances. 

The chief minister said Panchayats have a huge role to check the discreet supply and use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers in their respective areas. He urged them to issue notifications making it clear that the state has devised strict legal guidelines and regulations and any violation would amount to a hefty penalty. Chamling assured full support to farmers through distribution of cows to genuine beneficiaries, improvement of facilities at fruit processing units, installation of laboratory testing and fruit preservation machines and setting up of cold storages. Another major announcement was the state government’s decision to strictly ensure the upcoming Kisan Bazaars in Namchi and Gangtok would keep only organic produce. The government will open similar markets for North and West Sikkim in Mangan and Geyzing. The chief minister used the occasion to clarify that the state government has not received any financial assistance from the Centre to implement its organic mission. Sikkim has managed funds from the plan and non-plan budgets of the state government, he added.

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