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Current Affairs 15-10-2018

100% organic Sikkim shortlisted for FAO s Future Policy Award:

Sikkim has been awarded UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Future Policy Gold Award (Gold Prize) for its achievement in becoming the world’s first totally organic agriculture state.

Background:

Sikkim became the first fully organic state of India in 2016. Over the years around 75000 hectares of land in the state has been converted into certified organic farms following the guidelines as prescribed by National Programme for Organic Production.

Within 1.24 million tonnes of organic production in the country around 80000 million is supplied by Sikkim alone.

Organic farming and its significance:

Organic cultivation doesn’t involve the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers and thus helps to maintain a harmonious balance among the various complex ecosystems. Also it improves the quality of the soil which further improves the standards of the crops produced there. In the long term, organic farming leads in subsistence of agriculture, bio-diversity conservation and environmental protection. It will also help in building the soil health resulting in sustainable increased crop production.

The initiatives that propelled Sikkim’s progress:

  • In 2004, the production of organic manure began, replacing other compost.
  • Between 2004 and 2006, two seed testing and processing units were introduced, as well as soil testing laboratories for studying soil health.
  • The Centre of Excellence for Organic Farming was created.
  • Starting in 2008, several organic certification programmes took place, with much of the land being certified by organisations such as the Department of Science and Technology and the Food Security and Agriculture Department.
  • In 2010, a bio fertiliser production unit was put together, and the National Level Workshop was introduced in Sikkim’s villages.
  • Later that year, a plan for the adoption of fully organic farming was put into place, known as the Sikkim Organic Mission.

Future Policy Gold Award:

  • The prizes, nicknamed the “Oscar for best policies”, honour exceptional policies adopted by political leaders who have decided to act, no longer accepting widespread hunger, poverty or environmental degradation.
  • Previously it was honoured for policies combating desertification, violence against women and girls, nuclear weapons and pollution of the oceans.
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