Organic Farming Current Affairs
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Sikkim was awarded UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Future Policy Gold Award (Gold Prize) for its achievement in becoming the world’s first totally organic agriculture state. Sikkim beat out 51 other nominees from around the world for the award. Policies from Brazil, Denmark and Quito (Ecuador) were joinlty Silver Awards.
Future Policy Gold Award
The prizes honour exceptional policies adopted by political leaders who have decided to act, no longer accepting widespread hunger, poverty or environmental degradation. This award in nicknamed the “Oscar for best policies”. Previously it was honoured for policies combating desertification, violence against women and girls, nuclear weapons and pollution of the oceans. This year’s award based on central focus of agroecology policies and was co-organised by FAO, World Future Council (WFC) and IFOAM – Organics International. Agroecology has potential to increase farmers’ earnings and make farms more resilient to climate change as erratic rainfall and extended dry periods hamper food production.
Sikkim is first organic state in the world and all farmlands in the state are certified organic. State’s policy approach reaches beyond organic production and has proven transformational for its citizens. It primarily focuses socioeconomic aspects such as consumption and market expansion, cultural aspects as well as health, education, rural development and sustainable tourism.
The policy implemented by state of organic farming has phased out chemical fertilisers and pesticides, and achieved total ban on sale and use of chemical pesticides in the state. The transition has benefitted more than 66000 farming families in state.
Transition to 100% organic state also has greatly benefited its tourism sector and numbers of tourists have increased by over 50% between 2014 and 2017. With this Sikkim has set excellent example for other Indian states and countries worldwide for successfully upscale agroecology.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
It is specialised agency of UN that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Its parent organization is UN Economic and Social Council (UNESC). It was established on 16 October 1945 and its headquarters are in Rome, It has 194 member states, along with European Union (member organization).
The 19th edition of Organic World Congress (OWC- 2017) was held at India Expo Centre in Greater Noida from November 9-11, 2017. It was inaugurated by Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh. It was organised by International Federation of Organic Farming Movements (IFOAM) and OAFI.
Its goal was to move from organic India to the organic world. In the event 55 seeds group from 15 Indian states showcased 4,000 varieties of seeds. It saw participation of 1,400 representatives from 110 countries and 2000 delegates from India. One of highlights of the event was exhibition of carefully preserved diverse indigenous seed varieties over generations.
Organic World Congress (OWC)
The Organic World Congress (OWC) is organized once every three years in a different country and this time it is being organised in India. It provides an unique opportunity to share experiences, innovations and knowledge about organics. The last edition was held in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2014.