Organic Farming in Sikkim

(Graduation project) Echostream, Sikkim

6 MONTHS

Mentors

Tenzing Ninzey, Dr. Mohammad Shahid

Brief

Understand Organic farming in Sikkim on a systemic scale and find possible interventions.

Methodology

// Secondary research was carried out for one month to form preliminary findings

// Primary research by interviewing farmers, traders, local vendors, migrated vendors, local consumers, Sikkim Organic Mission employees, was carried out. In-depth interviews led to deeper collection of findings.

// Synthesis and analysis to understand the gaps on a systemic level was carried out. Nodal maps, Eco-system map, user journey and product journey maps were made.

// Brainstorming sessions, observational field visits and in-house discussions led to a hypothetical final solution.

Key findings

  • Farming in Sikkim was about self sustenance, it being commercial is a new trend

  • Manually carrying chemical fertilizers on mountains was not feasible and hence most farming in Sikkim was Organic (few farmers used Urea on a low scale)

  • Even though the Sikkim Government announced the arriving ban, it did not propagate and communicate the importance in the needed way. Even though various farmer training programs, awareness campaigns, and subsidies were given to the farmers, the soil was not ready.

  • A lack of Organic produce supply chain leads devaluation of Organic produce as it gets mixed with local markets.

  • Lack of input resource availability has resulted in fewer number of processing units in Sikkim.

  • Locals want to consume organically grown produce, but don't end up buying it.

Key insights

  • Sikkimese local consumers believe in 'Organic', but do not trust it.

  • Farmers practice farming out of the peace and enjoyment they get out of the practice than monetary needs.

  • Often traders choose to only sell organic out of the sense of pride for their environment.

  • Government ban on production of chemically grown produce did not stop consumption of the same.

Final brief and Ideation

Different solutions were brainstormed to fill the operationally feasible chosen gap.

'How can we increase the reliability of buying fresh, local, organic produce for the locals of Sikkim?'

Final solution

Decentralization of supply chain could lead to cost and waste reduction. A reliable service; which procures vegetables from farmers and provides them to end customers through a chosen channel.

Restrictions

The sample size was 10-12 people which can be argued to be a small sample size.

Research paper - System Mapping: A Study to Understand the Value Chain of Organic Farming in Sikkim, India 

Abstact: Sikkim is the first official organic farming state in India. However, organic farming brought challenges to both farmers and distributors. Secondary research showed issues in terms of value chain of the organic produce. Design research was carried out to understand the situation of Organic Farming in Sikkim on a broad systemic level. After empathically understanding the issues faced by various stakeholders during the primary research, system maps were created. The paper puts forward a qualitative study about the gaps observed in the Organic Farming scenario of Sikkim, thus putting forth the role of service design as solutions; and its role in making the whole system environmentally sustainable. 

Please get in touch for the detailed document

 © Neeraja Kulkarni

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