Gangtok, December 10, 2011: A Press Conference to highlight the aims, objectives and achievements so far of the State Organic Mission was organized here at Chintan Bhawan, Gangtok on Friday, December 9, 2011.
Addressing the conference the Secretary, Agriculture and Horticulture Department, Vishal Chauhan said that the State Organic Mission was launched by the Chief Minister of Sikkim Pawan Chmaling on 15th August 2010. Since then the department has not looked back in cherishing the dream of the government in converting the entire state into organic state and much has been achieved in the field of Organic Farming. The Secretary informed that the State Government of Sikkim has set a target of converting 50,000 hectares of land to totally organic by 2015 starting from 2010-11. The target for 2010-11 was 18,000 hectares and now the certification process for the first year has been completed and C1 certificates have been issued to more than 12,000 farmers of the state following which the second year process will start.
Organic Certification is a three year process. During the first year C1 certificate of the land is issued and in the second year C2 certificate is issued. After the completion of the third year a thorough verification of the land is done by certifying agencies and a certificate stating that the land is purely organic is issued. After that whatever the crop is grown in that land is said to be organic product. Infact, it is the land which has to be organically certified and not the product. When the land is certified to be organic, the product automatically becomes organic product, he said.
The total target of 50,000 hectares will be fulfilled in three phase of 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 with 18,000 hectares, 18,000 hectares and 14,000 hectares of land being taken up respectively each year. In this way by the year 2015 total cultivable land of 58,260 hectares will be totally organic. He further said that organic certification of the land has to be renewed every year. Highlighting about the departments experience in Organic Farming the Secretary added that the during the last one year no any discrepancy has been observed by the Certifying Agency and no non conformity reports have been received on the 18,000 hectares of land covering 12486 farmers so far which means that the farmers of Sikkim have adopted to Organic Farming.
Talking about the Certifying agencies the Secretary said that there are a total of twenty certifying agencies all over the country which are accredited by APEDA. In Sikkim three agencies have been given the work of certification which are IMO Control, Bangalore, LACON, Kerala and One-Cert Asia, Jaipur.
On this occasion Dorjee Tenzing Bhutia, Additional Executive Director, Sikkim Organic Mission gave a power point presentation on State organic Mission. Earlier, the Secretary IPR in his welcome address acknowledged the initiative of Agriculture and Horticulture Department of such an initiative of informing the masses through the press with regard to its various activities and informed that such type of informative programme will be continued in future.