Sikkim is the first Indian State to become 100 percent organic farming state. Earlier, the hilly state has achieved another historical feat by reaching 100 percent of erstwhile Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (Total Sanitation Campaign).
There are a lot that the rest of the country could learn from Sikkim, says the Union Minister for Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh. Speaking at the inaugural of the National Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Farmers Welfare at Gangtok, the minister said Sikkim has taken steps for organic farming which can take a lead for others to learn.
The minister informed that while there were several crop insurance schemes running in the country that were fraught with multiple lacunae. The Government showed special interest in this and now the new scheme named Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojna has been launched. There will be freedom from crop-wise and district-wise rates under this scheme and there is a uniform premium rate of only 2 percent for Rabi and 1.5 percent for Kharif crops for farmers. There is no capping and therefore there will be no reduction in claim payments. For the first time, post harvest losses have also been included as well as extensive use of technology would be made for accurate estimation and speedy disbursal of claims.
The minister highlighted the Prime Minister Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) which has been initiated with an outlay of Rs 50,000 crore for 5 years (2015-16 to 2019-2020) with Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) as designated Nodal Department for implementation. The scheme will be implemented in area development mode adopting ‘decentralised State level planning and projectised execution’ allowing States to draw up their own irrigation development plans.
The Chief Minister of Sikkim Pawan Chamling expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister on complimenting the efforts of the State towards organic mission within and outside the country which further strengthened Sikkim’s commitment. He said that while the benefits of organic farming is widely known no states and country in the world before Sikkim has implemented it as statewide or mission wide policy solution to unsustainable and harmful technique of agriculture production.
Chamling informed that a historic declaration has made through a resolution in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly on February 24, 2003. Since then, Sikkim has marched ahead with an uncompromising vision of transforming the state into a total organic mission.
The Minister of State for Agriculture Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundariya said the various schemes and programmes meant for the welfare of farmers should reach the intended targets and not remain only on paper. He expressed the hope the two day conference would work towards enhancing the productivity in the agriculture field and at the same time help the farmers.
Agriculture and Horticulture Ministers of various states, besides representatives from NITI Aayog, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), State government, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), agriculture scientists and others are present in the two day conference organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.