Sikkim State Co-operative Supply and Marketing Federation (SIMFED), the apex marketing federation of Sikkim, launched a vast range of organic and natural food products at a in New Delhi on Wednesday. SIMFED launched these organic food products in collaboration with New Delhi-based, Qseal Agritech, an organic agriculture-based organisation. To market its products across the country, the Federation is planning to open 400 retail stores across the country.
Sikkim, focussing on organic farming since 2003, became fully organic in 10 years. The State was declared the first Organic State of India by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015.
SIMFED is one of the pioneering organisations in India in the field of organic farming and in the last 10 years it has worked with more than 40,000 farmers on almost 35,000 hectares of agricultural land in 10 states of the country. To provide best prices to the farmers, SIMFED has taken measures like the elimination of middlemen and easy processing. Besides, to enhance the reach and penetration of organic food, SIMFED complies with the latest quality standards that ensure highly safe and nutritious food. Through Organic Regulation Act, the State has made possession of any types of agrochemicals or pesticides a punishable offence.
The vast range of SIMFED’S organic food products includes Unpolished Rice, Organic Flours, Organic Cereals, Unpolished pulses, Spices (Whole, Powdered). These will be introduced in the market soon in 500 grams and 1 kg packages. Organic pickles, jams and bakery products will also be launched shortly.
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The specialty products from Sikkim includes organically grown Buck Wheat flour, Dale Chili (Cherry Pepper), large cardamom a high value cash crop and export commodity and Ginger and Turmeric, two powerful spices from the Himalayan region. The other specialty products that will available soon are Cashew from Andhra and Odisha, King Chilli from Assam, Mango from Andhra, Pineapple from North Eastern Region, Joha and Black Rice from Assam, Kodo from Chhattisgarh, Lemon from Chhattisgarh and Assam, Potato from Gujarat and Mandarin Orange from Assam.
In the near future, SIMFED is also planning to export various organic produce like Niger, Ginger, Turmeric, Black Pepper and Potato from different regions of the country.
Highlighting about Sikkim’s initiatives on organic farming, Somnath Poudyal, Minister for Food Security and Agriculture Development, Sikkim said, “28 Farmer producer organisations (FPOs) have been formed in Sikkim for the development of organic farming in the State. They are also engaged in marketing of agricultural produce in the State.”
Hailing the Organic Movement of Sikkim, Shobhana K Pattanayak, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India said, “The Organic Movement in India is in the safe hands. I urge Sikkim to mentor other States too for development of organic farming. For this, the Centre is already promoting organic farming through Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY).”
Speaking on the occasion, Roger R Rai, Managing Director, SIMFED said, “SIMFED works for the benefit of both the consumers and the farmers. We ensure that the farmer, who is the intrinsic part of our society is getting the best possible agricultural inputs such as seeds, organic fertilisers, equipments, and is able to get the best possible return of agricultural produce. We are cautious that none of the quality measures formulated by the government are compromised or ignored, and the very best of the agricultural produce is reaching to the general public.”
“The Chief Minister of Sikkim, Pawan Kumar Chamling pioneered the Organic Revolution in 2003. Under his visionary leadership, the State became fully organic over a decade,” Rai added.