Enhancing Livelihood of Tribal Farmers of Sikkim Through Integrated Organic Farming System: A Case Study

Boniface Lepch, Ravikant Avasthe, Raghavendra Singh, Pallabi Phukan and N. Johnson Singh


Sustainable agriculture means an integrated approach to increasing farm yield and managing resources in order
to address all three critical aspects of sustainability: economic, environmental and social. ICAR-KVK, East Sikkim
adopted the Integrated Organic Farming Systems (IOFS) approach to stabilize income streams through natural
resource management and livelihood diversification in tribal village, Timpyem, East Sikkim. The salient features of
IOFS included – innovation in farming for maximizing production through optimal use of local resources, effective
recycling of farm waste for productive purposes, community-led local systems for water conservation, organic
farming, and developing a judicious mix of income-generating activities such as dairy, poultry, piggery,
vermicomposting and others. ICAR-KVK, East Sikkim built farmer capacities for adoption of productive,
remunerative, eco-friendly and self-sustaining integrated farming in the village. The economic indicators clearly
showed that the net returns from the recommended practices were substantially higher than the farmers’ practices
during the demonstration period. Average yield enhancement by the recommended technological interventions
under IOFS was 26.9 per cent for agricultural and horticultural crops over the pre-intervention yield resulting in
average B:C ratio of technology at 2.1 whereas farmers’ practice paved only 1.4. Similarly, average yield enhancement
was recorded at 33.2 per cent from livestock enterprises consequently an average B:C ratio of technology was 2.6
as compared to only 1.4 with farmers’ practice.

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