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World Bank-backed INSPIRES program to diversify Sikkim's economy amid climate challenges

World Bank-backed INSPIRES program to diversify Sikkim's economy amid climate challenges

The Sikkim Integrated Service Provision and Innovation for Reviving Economies Program (INSPIRES), supported by the World Bank, is set to transform Sikkim's economy by shifting focus from traditional farming to burgeoning sectors

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The Sikkim Integrated Service Provision and Innovation for Reviving Economies Program (INSPIRES), supported by the World Bank, is set to transform Sikkim's economy by shifting focus from traditional farming to burgeoning sectors such as IT/ITeS, tourism, creative design, environmental conservation, and the care economy. This strategic transition aims to build economic resilience against natural calamities, as emphasized by the World Bank.

Currently, over 60 percent of Sikkim's population depends directly on agriculture. However, climate change impacts, including rising temperatures and erratic rainfall, have significantly reduced water availability for irrigation and decreased soil fertility, leading to lower agricultural output and quality. Projections indicate that by the 2050s, Sikkim's average maximum temperature could rise by 1.8-2.6 degrees Celsius, with the southern part of the state potentially experiencing a 25 percent drop in precipitation.

The 'Sikkim State Action Plan on Climate Change' underscores the importance of climate-proofing livelihoods to manage climate risks effectively. It advocates for expanding the non-farm economy, identifying measures such as MGNREGA, trade, non-farm labor, and migration as crucial steps already underway to achieve this objective.

By promoting sectors less vulnerable to climate variations, the INSPIRES program seeks to ensure long-term sustainability and economic stability for Sikkim's population, mitigating the adverse effects of climate change on traditional farming practices.

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Edited By: Nandita Borah
Published On: Jul 07, 2024