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‘Fully Organic’ Sikkim Wins Top UN-Backed Award

India’s, first fully organic state ‘Sikkim’ has won the top prize in an UN-backed award on 12 October. According to the organizers, its policies have assisted more than 66,000 farmers, increased tourism and also set an example to other countries.

To recall, the small Himalayan state on the border with Tibet was confirmed completely organic in 2016 after substituting chemical fertilizers and pesticides with sustainable alternatives.

 

Maria-Helena Semedo, Deputy DG of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that co-organizes the Future Policy Awards said, Sikkim’s experience proves that ‘100% organic is no longer a pipe dream, but a reality”.

The awards have earlier honored and recognized policies fighting desertification, violence against women and girls, nuclear weapons and oceans pollution. 2018 was for agroecology, which includes avoiding chemicals, using crop residues as manure, growing trees on farms and rotating crops to improve soil and defend against pests.

Supporters say agroecology could boost farmers’ income and make farms more flexible to climate change as irregular rainfall and extended dry periods impede food production. According to the World Future Council, another co-organizer, “Tourism numbers in Sikkim state increased by 50% between 2014 and 2017”.  Director of the Council, Alexandra Wandel said, “Sikkim sets an outstanding example of how other nations can successfully upscale agroecology”.



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