Promoting Sustainable Organic Marketing Linkages in Sikkim

Dr. Mohit Sharma, Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Dr. Mohit Sharma, Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Sustainable Organic Marketing Linkages in Sikkim
Sustainable Organic Marketing Linkages in Sikkim

India is leader in terms of many organic farmers and ranks ninth in context of area under organic farming. The Government ha`s implemented many schemes to promote organic farming like Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER) and many more. There is also a devoted portal jaivik kheti (http://www.jaivikkheti.in/) which is mainly for the facilitation of marketing of organic produce. Sikkim, which was declared as the first organic state of the country in the year 2016, took a lead in this regard and successfully implemented the mission organic. How Sikkim could do it? And if Sikkim’s story suggest that organic is sustainable?

The story of Sikkim’s ‘Grow Organic’

After effects of organic farming on production and productivity and developing promising market linkages is of paramount importance for ensuring long-term sustainability. As per the reports, despite being declared an organic state, there is still a long way to go for Sikkim.  The state is yet not able to suffice its domestic consumption through organic cultivation and is heavily dependent on the supply from neighboring states like West Bengal. Moreover, a devoted market for the organic brand is yet to be discovered as produce is often at the mercy of traders who sell it at the price of inorganic produce. It is important to know what still keeps them motivated and if there are associated incentives with the production of organic produce.

Few organic farmers in Sikkim were contacted to understand market linkages for the organic produce. They expressed their plight and mentioned that they face challenges even after these many years. Finding markets is tough for them; they are unable to tie up with FPOs or find any other route and are bound to sell in distress at lower prices. Moreover, they lack organic inputs, have to incur costly manpower, and harvest poor yields. In light of these experiences, it becomes very difficult to quantify the benefits of ‘mission organic’ and its adoption by the farmers. Even the ‘Jaivik Kheti’ portal does not reflect the registration details of any of the organic growers from Sikkim. There are registrations from other states which don’t have this 100 percent organic promotion policy. It seems that the state still has a long way to go in figuring out ideal marketing channels for strengthening the passage of organic produce to consumers.

While Sikkim farmers expressed their plight of not being able to connect with right markets for their produce, handful of organic farms nearby big urban centres are able to connect with the urban consumers by finding the place for their products in the high-end retail stores. The organic product through these stores is sold at high price and is purchased by upper middle class or high-class people Studies report that the affordability of organic produce by middle class consumers is limited and overall sustainability of organic food production is also challenging for many farmers. It is as challenging for farmers as they are unable to scale up due to limited production and also for the consumers as due to more demand and less supply, market prices of organic products are too high to be affordable by all especially India’s middle class which forms the largest consumer base.

Way forward

In the above context, interventions are required for smoothening the marketing and branding of organic produce in the state of Sikkim. The establishment of a new wholesale market in Sikkim can improve market information as well as enhance competition leading to improved efficiency in the exchange process. The sale of inorganic agricultural produce in the state from outside should be restricted for a certain period to fulfill the local demand which will help the farmers to get the actual price of their organic products. As Sikkim organic market is at a nascent stage a good market mix and strategy to reach the premium market needs to be developed. Market-based approach and strategy for market infrastructure growth, capacity building, export market identification, development of branding, and promotional marketing strategies need to be focused on achieving a long-term vision.

Intervention with FPO/FPCs of existing organic growers can be a boon for facilitating the produce to Big Basket, Big Bazaar, Parvata Foods, Revanta Foods, Reliance Fresh, etc which may result in better returns. Many tech start-ups also need to be connected with farmer clusters to facilitate market development and ensure better returns to the farmers. An ideal price spread mechanism especially for organic clusters needs to be established. The farms are less and an incentivization and facilitation is the way to witness a significant change


Dr. Mohit Sharma, Assistant Professor, School of Agribusiness and Rural Management, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University, Pusa, Samastipur, Bihar

Email: mohit.sharma@rpcau.ac.in; +919549034035

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