Farmers’ income in Odisha has grown and is better than the national average, claimed Agriculture Minister Dr. Arun Sahoo while speaking at a webinar.
He highlighted the steps taken by the state government to ensure better supply chain management in the state’s agriculture sector with a focus on improving production, reducing food supply chain losses, and increasing farmers’ income.
“Whether it is the land allocation or adopting innovative practices for increased farm production, we have been actively engaging with the farmers to ensure their needs despite several issues like the occurrence of natural calamities, erratic monsoon, uneven distribution of rainfall,” said Dr. Sahoo while addressing an ASSOCHAM Webinar on Odisha Agri Sector Logistics Challenges & Solutions.
“Samrudhi, our new agriculture policy aims to cash in on the untapped potential of the state’s agriculture sector while ensuring an environmentally, economically, and technologically inclusive growth. It also encompasses the development of warehousing, quality testing infrastructure for better marketing of the crops as logistics plays an important role in agricultural production and supply chain management ultimately enhancing food safety, quality and helping market farmers produce more effectively.”
“Our department is promoting farmers-producers organisations (FPOs) and agriculture production clusters for holistic development in production, value addition, and organic market.”
Mr. C. Udayabhaskar, Chief General Manager/OIC, NABARD, Odisha said that while Odisha is a goldmine for horticulture, dairy, fisheries, oilseeds, and pulses, there is an urgent need to develop backward linkages, motivate the farmers, provide them with technical know-how and capacity building.
He felt farmers need to be weaned away from paddy and focus on other crops.
“Unless these production-level issues are taken up, it will be very difficult to create a logical, viable agri logistics system. So that said, we need to build up the Agri infrastructure.”
He also said that there is a need to welcome the startups and have an incubation center and suggested redeveloping and repairing the Center of Excellence in Khordha. Dhaval Raval, Chairman, ASSOCHAM–Agriculture Sub Council, Western Region; Mr A. Kakra, Agri Sector Head, PwC; Dr P.K. Agarwal, Vice Chancellor, Odisha University of Agriculture & Technology (OUAT) and Prof. (Dr) Pravat Kumar Roul, Managing Director, APICOL took part in the webinar.