Who knows Sikkim? It's one of the smallest states of India in the Himalaya region, locked in by Nepal, Bhutan and China. Having 'only' 600 000 inhabitants on a surface of 7.000 acres, it doesn't fit in the global image we have of India.
And yet, there's a reason why we pick up a story on Sikkim. The state decided to aim for a fully organic agriculture, thus becoming the first organic state in India. Even Prime Minister Modi flew over to congratulate the Sikkim government.
As we gathered during our conversations and meetings in India, Sikkim and some other states up north didn't suffer from the major industrialization of agriculture that was launched in the seventies and eighties in India. Often there was simply no money to introduce pesticides or artificial fertilizers on the farms.
As government encourages the states and agricultural movements to adopt organic farming, we notice a kind of healthy competition between states to become completely organic one day. Even if for Sikkim it is somewhat easier to get there in comparison to states like Karnataka or Kerala, it is an achievement noteworthy.
The initial action plan was designed in 2003. One of the things that matter here is inclusion. The state and its districts actually organized bio-villages, gathering villagers and farmers to learn about crop protection, soil enrichment and composting. Actions that lead to rejuvenating the soil and thus the crop capacities.
The state has an entire website for its continuing program to keep Sikkim organic.