It was a wonderful moment for me to be amongst the Global Organic Leaders such as Mr Bernward Geier, Chairman & General Co-ordinator of One World Award (OWA) and Director COLABORA, Germany, Mr Markus Arbenz, Executive Director, IFOAM, Germany, Mr Joseph Wilhelm, Donor OWA & Founder Director, Rapunzel, Germany, Ms Gila Kriegisch, Senior Manager (Marketing), Rapunzel, Ms Martha Jean Shamiso Mungwashu, OWA winner, Zimbabwe, Ms Dao Droste and Mr Ashwin Paranjpe, United World College, Pune at the Conference – ‘Organic Movement- The Way Forward’, held at Chintan Bhawan today. I take it as an honour to welcome these luminaries, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Germany during the One World Award, to our Himalayan and 100% Organic State. This Conference is coming together of individuals and institutions passionate about the cause for an organic world and to be united for a common concern and firm commitment to take the organic movement forward.
In my address, I highlighted the following:-
1. We have taken a number of green initiatives for protection and conservation of the environment and the decision to convert Sikkim into an organic state was a natural progression of our environmental friendly development agenda.
2. The adverse effects of chemical fertilizers to the soil, health and well-being of the people and the environment, made us take the decision to become organic in 2003.
3. The Sikkim chapter of organic movement has created a ripple effect across the Indian States and the idea of organic farming has received full emphasis in India, never known in the past. The Hon’ble Prime Minister has been pleased to mention Sikkim numerous times as a role model in organic farming across the Nation, while calling upon all other states to take up organic farming, especially the Himalayan states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and the seven North Eastern States.
4.If we are to create an organic world, it crucial that the respective governments in other parts of the world commit and play a leadership role in creating a safer and healthier world through the organic movement.
5.We are doing everything possible to sustain our organic revolution and pass on the initiatives to the next generation of farming community. We have to convince our educated youth to engage deeply in organic farming, which is a life saving profession ,and every youth in the world must be made aware of its importance for the future world. We must also take into confidence political leaders from across different political organizations to join us in this noble mission.
6. It is now the 2nd phase of the organic movement in Sikkim and the time to carry out large scale production , create value-addition to our organic produce, establish global supply chain and strengthen export mechanism. This, indeed, is a difficult task and we are working hard at it. We need expert advice of the distinguished delegates in this regard.