Sikkim IFFCO Organics Ltd (SIIFCO) laid the foundation stone for its organic food processing unit in the state which will be built at a cost of Rs 50 crore.
Sikkim IFFCO Organics is a joint venture (JV) between IFFCO (Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative) and the Sikkim government.
The foundation stone for the plant, located in Rangpo, East Sikkim, was laid by Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang. The manufacturing would start from December 2020, fertiliser major IFFCO said in a statement.
Union Agriculture Minister Narender Singh Tomar was also present on the occasion.
The JV has been formed to promote and market the organic produce of India, especially from Sikkim and other North Eastern states of the country.
The major commercial crops in which Sikkim IFFCO will operate are ginger, turmeric, large cardamom and buckwheat.
“The initial cost of the project is Rs 50 crore. The manufacturing would kick start from December 2020,” the statement said.
All Sikkim IFFCO products will be certified 100 per cent organic.
Tamang said Sikkim is the first state of India to go 100 per cent organic, committing itself to attain sustainable agriculture and to promote the Green Himalayan Economy.
He said the JV is a step in the direction of a safer food supply chain and environment protection.
Tamang said the joint venture would ensure that the state of Sikkim fulfils the mission of doubling farmers’ income.
The Chief Minister urged farmers to establish the gold standard of organic farming.
He complemented IFFCO and Sikkim Government’s initiative to strengthen organic agriculture in the country.
This will help in boosting the economy of North Eastern states, he said.
IFFCO MD US Awasthi said food processing ensures value addition to the crops, which further ensures farmers make most profit out of their produce.
Sikkim IIFCO will be capable of promoting these certified organic products worldwide and enhancing the 100 per cent organic image of Sikkim state globally.
He emphasised that IFFCO has made efforts to retain soil fertility and ecological health by introducing organic fertilizers also.
Sikkim IFFCO has already signed two MoUs — one with Blossoms Biodynamics, USA for utilising their marketing and distribution in the North American markets and other with Centar Dr Rudolfa Steinera, Croatia for marketing its products in Croatia and the European Union.