Scale and the Politics of the Organic Transition in Sikkim, India

David Meek, Colin Anderson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)
    12 Downloads (Pure)


    In 2016, Sikkim, an Indian Himalayan state announced that it had certified all agricultural production as organic. In this article, we explore how Sikkim’s organic policies are affecting agroecology transitions. Drawing upon 47 interviews with Sikkimese farmers, consumers, and government officials, we explore how questions of scale are central to the Sikkimese state’s organic vision. Our four-part analysis reveals how the state’s move to scale up organics reflects: 1) the state’s perception that areal scale and low yield are the major constraints to their organic vision. To address this perceived constraint, the state is attempting to: 2) re-scale farm production to increase yield in single commodity crops, and 3) re-scale social processes to collectivize production and marketing. 4) Education is a primary pathway through which the state seeks to reorient farmers to engage in scaled up production and a yield oriented vision of cooperation. Our results show how these different scalar processes intersect, shedding new light on debates about the role of the state in agroecology transitions. List of Acronyms: APEDA: Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority; ATMA: Agricultural Technical Management Authority; CEO: Chief Executive Officer; FPO: Farmer Producer Organization; MOVCD: Mission Organic Value Chain Development.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)653-672
    Number of pages20
    JournalAgroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
    Issue number5
    Early online date8 Dec 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2020

    Bibliographical note

    This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems on 08/12/2019 , available online:

    Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


    • Agroecology
    • India
    • Sikkim
    • organic agriculture
    • state

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Development
    • Agronomy and Crop Science


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