Yes Bank, APEDA and AIOI gives Report on Organic Exports from Sikkim

Yes Bank has partnered with the Agricultural and Processed Foods Export Development Authority (APEDA),Association of Indian Organic Industry (AIOI) and Ingenus Strategy & Creative Researchto release a strategic knowledge report, titled Organic Exports from Sikkim – Perspective, Priorities & Way Forward.

The report was launched at New Delhi’s Udyog Bhawan by Rita Teaotia, commerce secretary, Government of India, andAlok Kumar Srivasatav, chief secretary, Sikkim, in the presence of bureaucrats of key ministries, including commerce and industry, agriculture, development of north-east region (DONER) and food processing industries.

It highlighted the various aspects of organic exports of Sikkim, its potential to contribute towards export earnings and recommends how the state of Sikkim, as well as how the north-eastern region has the potential to become a global organic export hub.

Applauding the recommendations of the report,Teaotia said that identifying market points, business-to-business (B2B) communication, addressing logistical issues, recognising a right platform for commercialising organic products from the region akin to the auction platform for tea, would further augment the region’s potential as an organic hub.

Speaking about the report, Rana Kapoor, managing director and chief executive officer, Yes Bank, and chairman, Yes Institute said, that Sikkim’s crowning as the first organic state in India by the prime minister has set a success story for the rest of the nation and the world. It is a testimony to the conducive policy measures by the state government and diverse agro-climatic conditions of the state. The conversion of more than 7,000 sq km of geographical area into an organic state is truly a remarkable and an awe-inspiring achievement.

The report provided strategic recommendations for focused crops to augment organic production, value addition, marketability and branding of organic produce in Sikkim and ultimately enhance exports from the state. 

Elaborating on the initiative,Kapoor added, “It is now imperative to leverage the full organic potential of Sikkim and also ensure sustainability and prosperity for the farmers. Regulatory, procedural, infrastructure, skill building, branding and product-specific interventions will be the key enablers. An industry-led market-driven approach coupled with interventions by policy makers and establishing backward linkages, will fuel a quantum leap in the growth agenda of the organic sector in Sikkim.”

Key takeaways of the report

Focus crops for Sikkim: Primary analysis from multiple dimensions of government/experts’ opinion reveals the following crops where Sikkim should focus for exports:

•    Ginger
•    Turmeric
•    Large Cardamom
•    Buckwheat
•    Honey
•    Tea

Other than these, Sikkim needs to look at new segments that are unique, like herbal teas, medicinal and aromatic plants, berries, exotic and niche seasonal vegetables, tree nuts, spices/herbal mixes, etc.

Recommendations to make Sikkim a global powerhouse of organic food

• Establishing autonomous organic industry-empowered food parks

• High-tech agriculture: The know-how and ultra-modern high tech agri practices brought in, will revolutionise Sikkim’s overall agro economy. The impact on Sikkim can be dramatic. Agricultural economic outcome is expected to be between Rs 1,000-2,000 crore by 2025-30 as against Rs 650-750 crore with the development of conventional produce only

• Branding and positioning of Sikkim Organic: Brand Organic Sikkim is the state’s most important wealth, and therefore, the task of branding the state’s organic sector is both critical and challenging

• Sikkim Organic to form a part of tourism agenda: Organic should be made a state-level treasure and used in tourism promotions. A first step towards connecting tourism with organic is to organise home-stays, where people can live and feel the Sikkim experience. The government through farmer-producer organisations (FPOs) should design souvenirs and gift packs containing Sikkim’s organic produce, particularly spices, tea, honey, etc. which people can carry back with them

• Establishing marketing infrastructure and creation of post-harvest infrastructure

Input support to farmers and capacity building.

By BOA Bureau