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Erik de Maaker and team awarded grant for research on the impact of ‘green farming’

Charisma K. Lepcha (PI, Sikkim University), Pradyut Guha (co-PI, Sikkim University), Rajib Sutradhar (co-PI, Christ University Bangalore) and Erik de Maaker (co-PI, Leiden University) have been awarded a two-year grant of USD 18.000 to conduct research on the impact of ‘green farming’ on the sensitive mountain ecosystems of Sikkim, in the Indian Himalayas (starting February 2022). The grant has been awarded by SANDEE, a division of ICIMOD.

‘Organic Farmers as Green Entrepreneurs: Exploring the impact of FPOs on organic cultivation in Sikkim (North East India)’ focuses on the impact of efforts made by the Indian government to provide Himalayan farmers with better access to markets to sell their produce. Sikkim has from 2016 onwards been declared a ‘fully organic’ state, but so far this qualification has not translated into higher returns for its upland farmers. The project notably focuses on attempts made to create cooperative Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs). It wants to explore the impact of FPOs on the livelihoods of farmers, and on the values they attribute to their crops and the land these grow on.

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