Sikkim presented a model in front of the world by becoming the first-ever organic state in the world. Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling received the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Future Policy Gold Award from its Deputy Director Maria Helena Semedo for the feat.

“An organic world is definitely achievable. I also appeal to the world community that we do not carry out any kid of development work and business at the cost of the environment,” said Chamling.

Nicknamed the ‘Oscar for best policies’, the award is co-organised with the FAO by The World Future Council (WFC) and IFOAM – Organics International, and recognises ‘the world’s best laws and policies promoting agroecology’.

Presenting the award, Semeda said that Sikkim is an outstanding example on how to successfully transform the food system and ensure respect for people and planet and the award recognises the state’s leadership and political will.

Sikkim’s transition to organic farming has benefited over 66,000 family farmers, reaching beyond just organic production to include socioeconomic aspects such as consumption and market expansion, rural development and sustainable tourism with its comprehensive and inclusive approach, she said.

Sikkim Organic Mission of 2010

At the ceremony, a film was shown highlighting how the state achieved the transformation through research, marketing and education for farmers. Semedo said, “My message is a chemical-free world. If we want to protect the planet we have to go for chemical-free farming.”

The award recognises the policies adopted by the state starting with a political commitment to support organic farming in 2003 that led to the 2010 Sikkim Organic Mission.

The state’s policies and commitment led to it becoming the first 100 per cent organic state. Sikkim beat 51 other nominees from around the world for the award. Brazil, Denmark and Quito, Ecuador, shared the Silver award.

Vandana Shiva, the environmental activist and president of the Navdanya International, presented the silver award. Earlier, on Monday, at a news conference held at the Chamber of Deputies in the Italian Parliament, Chamling said that organic farming was a form of action of non-violence.

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