In an attempt to provide succor to distressed farmers devastated by the lockdown and more recently cyclone Amphan, Odisha government promulgated an ordinance allowing investors and farmers to enter into a contract agreement for farming.

The Odisha Agricultural Produce and Livestock Contract Farming and Services (promotion and facilitation) Ordinance, 2000 aims at providing improved production and marketing of agricultural produce and livestock through holistic contract farming.

It intends to promote the farmers’ interest by way of developing mutually beneficial and efficient contract farming systems, said senior officials in Bhubaneswar Friday.

The ordinance has been promulgated keeping in view the larger interest of farmers and those eking out a living in livestock.

As the Legislative Assembly of the State of Odisha is currently not in session, the Ordinance had to be promulgated as an emergency initiative to give a boost to agrarian activity.

The contract farming will also enhance the marketing linkage of agrarian produce, added the officials. “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a declaration of lockdown in the State and also in the whole country which seems to continue for an indefinite period,” stated the Ordinance.

The government will constitute Contract Farming and Services (Promotion and Facilitation) Committee to review and assess the performance of the contract farming in the state. As per the Ordinance provisions, the sponsor is prohibited from raising permanent structures on the farmer’s land or premises.

Besides the land title, rights, ownership or possession shall not be transferred or alienated or vested to the sponsor. The loan and advances provided by the sponsor to the farmer can be recovered from the sale proceeds of the produce and in no case be realised by way of sale or mortgage or lease of the land in respect of which the agreement has been entered into.

The government may, in order to promote contract farming, services contract and such other contracts under this Ordinance and to attract investment, exempt levy of facilitation fee.