Modi has boosted Sikkim and its organic mission: Sikkim MP P D Rai

New Delhi, In one shot, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has boosted Sikkim and its organic mission to a "prominent height", the northeastern state's lone MP P D Rai said.

"Modi took the entire House by surprise when he gave an example of Sikkim to the world. In one shot, he took Sikkim and its organic mission to a prominent height," Rai, who is from the Sikkim Democratic Front, told IANS.

"We are already a fully organic state. Only the certification is to come from respective agencies. Today, 25-30,000 hectares of land area out of the total 58,128 hectare of available cultivable land has been certified as organic," he emphasised.

Conceptualised by Sikkim Chief Minster Pawan Kumar Chamling some 12 years back, the State Organic Mission was launched on Aug 15, 2010. Recognised as one of the 18 biodiversity hotspots in the world, Sikkim has put sustainability at the core of of its development agenda.

First physical step towards conversion of Sikkim agriculture to organic was adoption of bio-village progarmme using EM (effective microorganism) technology. Starting from 2003-04 till 2009-10, 396 villages were adopted as bio-villages by the state.

About 14,000 farmers and 14,000 acres of land in all the four districts of Sikkim were benefited under the programme.

In a an earlier interview to IANS, Chamling had said, "Through the State Organic Mission we seek to become the first fully organic state."

"We have a policy of allocating 70 percent of our budget to rural development," Chamling added.

Around 64 percent of the 600,000 population in Sikkim is dependent on agriculture and related activities.

"Sikkim is a small state, sparsely populated, but is set to become the country's first wholly organic state, which is a matter of pride," Modi told the Lok Sabha.

"If a small state like Sikkim can do it, why can't we dream of developing the whole of north-east as an organic state? The government of India will help it in capturing the global market," he added.

Acknowledging the "hard work that the farmers of Sikkim have put in", Modi said the project needed to be expanded.

"If this happens, the lives of those living in the hill states will change for the better," he said.

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