Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on Wednesday announced complete ban on import of vegetables from outside the state from March 31, 2018.

Addressing the newly elected representatives of panchayats at the State level Panchayat Sammelan for Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies at Manan Kendra he said that Sikkim should be self-sufficient in food grains by 2020 along with being self-sufficient in dairy, poultry and meat by 2020. The chief minister also reiterated the state government’s mission of making Sikkim a poverty free state by 2020.

He said that panchayats were the vanguard of the people at the grass root level and thus implementation of all the state policies have to start from them.

Talking about the success of Panchayati Raj in the state, the Chamling said Sikkim as a brand has become famous not just in the country but throughout the world and it is considered as number one state in Panchayati Raj in the entire North East and second in India, only after Kerala. He said that agriculture needs to be revived in the state and also announced that the second phase of Organic Mission is due to start which would focus on productivity, cultivation and sustainability. Terming Organic farming as life saving, he has ascertained that Panchayats are the true ambassadors of organic farming and no agricultural land should be left fallow. This would also be a pre-requisite for availing government’s grants which would help in more people turning towards farming.

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