Organic State Current Affairs - 2020

Sikkim celebrates 45th State Day

On May 16, 2020, the Sikkim Government celebrates its 45th Statehood Day. Every year Sikkim celebrates its State Day in May 16 as the state came into existence on this day in 1975.

History

After India became independent in 1947, Sikkim continued to enjoy the protectorate status with the republic of India. However, in 1973, anti-royalist riots occurred in the state. The monarch was eventually deposed in 1975. A referendum led to the state joining India.

Sikkim was the 22nd state to join Union of India. Sikkim borders three countries namely China, Bhutan and Nepal.

About Sikkim

About 35% of the state is covered by the Khangchendzonga National Park. The official languages of Sikkim include Nepali, English, Sikkimese and Lepcha.

In 2016, Sikkim became the first fully organic state in the India and also in the world. The initiative to achieve this began in 2003.

Symbols of Sikkim

The state has special emblem. The State Animal of Sikkim is Red Panda, state bird is Blood Pheasant, state flower is Noble dendrobium and state tree is Rhododendron.

Can States have separate Emblems?

The Constitution does not restrict the use of separate symbols. Every state has its own emblems. There are certain laws that make sure the symbols are honoured and not defamed.

These acts are Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 and Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.

Sikkim awarded FAO’s Future Policy Gold Award for 100% organic farming

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.

Background

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).