Hamburg/Rome, Oct 12 (IANS) Sikkim has been awarded the prestigious gold prize at global Future Policy Awards for promoting agro-ecology through policies and laws that have made it a “100 per cent organic farming” state.
Sikkim is 2018’s winner of the “Oscar for best policies”, beating 51 nominated policies from 25 countries, the international non-government body World Future Council (WFC) announced on Friday.
The award is co-organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the World Future Council (WFC) and IFOAM Organics International. It was announced simultaneously at Hamburg and Rome.
Policies from Brazil, Denmark and Quito (Ecuador) were awarded silver.
FAO Deputy Director-General Maria-Helena Semedo said: “A transition to sustainable food and agriculture systems is critical to achieving sustainable development, and the 2018 Future Policy Award is unique as it highlights policies that advance such a transition.
“FAO is proud to honour, along with the World Future Council and IFOAM – Organics International, such leadership and political will.”
The organisers said by scaling up agro-ecology and through effective policy making, it was possible to tackle malnutrition, social injustice, climate change and loss of biodiversity.
“Gold Prize winner Sikkim is the first organic state in the world. All of its farmland is certified organic. At the same time, Sikkim’s approach reaches beyond organic production and has proven truly transformational for the state and its citizens,” the WFC, a Hamburg-based body consisting of 50 eminent global change-makers from governments, parliaments, civil society, academia and business, said in the release.
“Embedded in its design are socioeconomic aspects such as consumption and market expansion, cultural aspects as well as health, education, rural development and sustainable tourism.
“The policy implemented a phase out of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, and achieved a total ban on sale and use of chemical pesticides in the state. The transition has benefited more than 66,000 farming families,” it said while explaining why Sikkim was chosen for the top award.
It noted that Sikkim’s tourism sector had benefited greatly from the state’s transition to 100 per cent organic.
“As such, Sikkim sets an excellent example of how other Indian states and countries worldwide can successfully upscale agro-ecology,” it added.
The winners of Future Policy Award 2018 will be celebrated in a ceremony on October 15 at FAO headquarters during the World Food Week in Rome.
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, who as Founder-President of the Sikkim Democratic Front has been ruling the state for a record 25 years, is expected to receive the award personally in Rome.