Organic farming getting popular in remote south Sikkim

Gangtok, July 31 : At a time when the area under organic cultivation in the country is yet to cross one percent of the total agricultural land, the small hilly state of Sikkim has stolen the show as its entire agriculture is set to go organic by 2015.

The state has only around 60,000 hectares of farmland and already 40 percent of it is under progress.

As part of its plan to make the entire state take to organic cultivation by 2015, Sikkim has banned the use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides from 2003 itself.

Sikkim can see farming rising as villagers of Maniram, south Sikkim are planting more vegetable and taking cultivation seriously, as the state agriculture is giving free seeds to the farmers such as the seeds of tomato , brocholli and cauliflower.

The local farmers see it as an income generator as they are getting more yields.
As also organic farming is adding to the tourism potential of the state and providing additional income to farmers as the Sikkim Government has also taken up organic tourism.

Nature tourism is being promoted by setting up home stays in villages that have been declared "completely organic".

Maya Kumari, a farmer here, said that she earns well.

"Earlier, I used to sow one packet of seed which I got from seed department, but this year out of three packet seeds. I have sown 2500 seeds of tomato and it has come out well. For one packet of tomato seed, I earn around Rs. 10,000 to 12000 and with cauliflower I earn about Rs. 50, 000," she said.

--ANI (Posted on 31-07-2013)

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