Sikkim got awarded for being the best performing state under the Horticulture Mission for NE and Himalayan States (HMNEH) on February 17, at the National Workshop on Horticulture in New Delhi. Secretary Horticulture, Vishal Chauhan received the award from Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. In the Citation received by state government, it has been mentioned that Sikkim has demonstrated a large number of success stories on protected cultivation of high value vegetables and flowers, besides promotion of organic farming. The Citation further quotes that besides the success of Sikkim mandarin; success achieved by the State in crop diversification strategy through plantation of guava and litchi in the lower valleys with banana and papaya as filler crops is highly commendable.
The Citation also mentions that horticulture led transformation in Sikkim. It became possible because of the special attention provided by state government for horticulture development. Efforts of the department to bring state in the forefront by ensuring effective delivery of HMNEH programme in convergence with other programmes of Government of India, such as Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA), etc is noteworthy.
Eventually, the Citation reads, ‘in recognition of meritorious performance by the state in the field of protected cultivation of high value vegetables & flowers and organic farming, the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation places on record its appreciation and recognizes Sikkim as one of the best performing States under Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States (HMNEH)’.
Horticulture & Agriculture Minister, DN Thakarpa, accompanied by the Secretary and Principal Director Horticulture called on the CM on February 21 at Mintokgang to express gratitude for showing visionary leadership and providing all support for horticulture development in the state. Mr. Pawan Chamling desired that entire department, including all field officials should work hard in the interest of farming community of the state. He assured full support for the development of horticulture sector.