Guwahati: Sikkim has lately been able to turn quite some heads as leading Asian countries like Japan and South Korea are expressing their interest in being engaged with Sikkim in terms of cultivation and export of organic farm products. The recently received Future Policy Award 2018 gave a unique recognition to the north-east Indian state as it could show the world how successful its organic farming techniques are.
Speaking at a news conference, State Agriculture department and Sikkim Organic Mission (SOM) secretary, Khorlo Bhutia have informed the media that these Asian countries have expressed their interest to grow organic starch rice and vegetables in Sikkim. Not only are they interested in cultivating in Sikkim, in addition to this, they also want the organic productions to be exported to their respective nations.
The green veggies that Japan and South Korea wants to grow in Sikkim include cabbage, green chilli, garlic and ginger along with crops like starch rice which will mostly be used for their domestic consumption.
Bhutia added, “After Sikkim became fully organic, many countries have shown interest in exploring the opportunities and identification of areas of co-operation with Sikkim. Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan has approached the department for sourcing organic commodities from Sikkim. Another business house is exploring the possibility of growing organic sticky rice here. Very recently a delegation from the Trade Office, Embassy of Republic of Korea visited Sikkim to source commodities especially, vegetables from the State.”
As expressed by the Agriculture secretary, South Korea is more interested in sourcing raw materials for preparation of their popular delicacy ‘Kimchi’ and Kimchi is a kind of fermented cabbage. Not only these, other countries too seem in the row of looking for organic farming opportunities in Sikkim as next week, a delegation from Organic Federation of Ukraine is scheduled to visit Sikkim. This team of delegates will explore the business opportunities in the state as well as looking for the cultivation of buck wheat, garlic and pumpkins.
The particular cultivation that Japan is interested in is basically sticky rice for which it has initiated a demonstration at Kameray village, East Sikkim. They want to grow sticky rice and medicinal plant along with also exporting it to their country.
Bhutia has further shared that such opportunities have come more like an appealing career to the educated youths and farmers. By taking an advantage of organic farming for other countries, they can not only earn for their living but can also build a lucrative business.