The organic wave in Sikkim
A closer look at the organic farming practices & lifestyle
Sikkim is India’s first 100 pc organic state. The Government of Sikkim started the process of switching to organic farming in 2003 and today the state boasts of numerous organic tea gardens and villages.
The jurisdiction of Temi in south Sikkim stands its ground as the only tea-growing region in the state. Clean, green and ‘all organic’ since 2016, the area is mostly a maze of steep valleys with subtropical woodlands. At the Temi Tea’s plantation gardens, tea pluckers help visitors try their hands at plucking and processing tea.
Before Sikkim switched to being organic, using chemical fertilisers was a conventional farming practice. When chemicals were first replaced with bio fertilisers and compost, the quantity of produce started declining and picked up really slowly thereafter. Today, the production is much more, with better quality tea leaves. The tea even retains its medicinal value now as it is fully organic.
Sikkim is the first state in India to go fully organic in both production and consumption of food. The change is apparent in local markets, where organic produce, straight from the farms, trumps non-organic and fresh fruits and vegetables.
To better understand this organic wave, we visit the Jaubari Village that is around half an hour drive from the tea estate. People of the village lead simple lives – they prefer being around nature and have adopted organic ways of living. The villagers primarily make both ends meet through farming and use only organic fertilisers, primarily cow dung.
Another interesting thing is their farmers’ markets (also known as green market or haat bazaar) around every village. Here, the villagers sell their organic produce directly to consumers. At the makeshift booths, farm fresh fruits, vegetables and even organic homemade beverages are sold.
Ras Al Khaimah