Organic chilly farming proves a boon for local farmers

Agriculture has been the mainstay for the people of the landlocked state of Sikkim. It is the only source of livelihood for them. Farming in the state has become modernized in recent times with the introduction of modern techniques and necessary agri-based schemes. Farmers are seen shifting their focus from primitive way of farming to a modern one with the state government's initiative of introducing organic farming in the state. Among the locally grown organic vegetables in the state, which is in great demand nowadays, is the Dalley Chilly locally known as the Dalley Khorsani. With the soaring demand of Dalley Chilly Pickle, paste, chilly sauce etc in the markets of the state and abroad, Dalley Chilly farming is seen as a profitable venture by farmers. Apart from cultivation of main crops like cardamom, ginger, orange etc, the practice of organic vegetable farming is growing much rapidly and many farmers are engaged in it as the market value of these organically grown vegetables has increased, thereby generating more profit and enabling farmers to make a stable living. Dalley chilly, known as one of the hottest chilies in the world and often called the Himalayan red cherry, can be cultivated in the different regions of the state of Sikkim. One such remote area in West Sikkim is Nessa under Yaksum in Tashiding constituency where farmers are into Dalley Khorsani cultivation and they have proved that farming still offers opportunities to improve the socio-economic conditions of the people as a whole. In the village, chilly farming has proved to be beneficial for the farmers so far. It has led to good harvest in the previous year, which has brought in positivity among farmers and they have already set a target to produce about 50 tons of Dalley next year. As the dalley chilly has multiple uses, its demand is skyrocketing and most of the markets in the state imports chilly from Kalimpong. With growing times more emphasis should be given on Dalley chilly farming in the state as it will not only generate income but to some extent will improve the socio-economic condition of the farming community. It is noteworthy that with various initiatives undertaken by the Chamling-led state government related to farming, the overall scenario of agriculture has changed in the state bringing in more development and progress in farming.