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Odisha doubled farm income: Naveen

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneswar |

Farming is not only the fulcrum of the economy of Odisha, but is also the chief source of livelihood for a vast multitude of people, said CM Naveen Patnaik while emphasising on the fact that Odisha had doubled farm income in the period 2003-2013.

Though we have doubled farm income, we have to further strengthen it and make it sustainable, he said while inaugurating the four day Krushi Odisha Exhibition of farm equipment and machineries here on Tuesday.

Odisha government•has decided to promote farm mechanization in a big way and popularise technology and innovation among farmers, said the chief minister.

The government has decided to invest more in irrigation and aggressively promote allied sectors such as horticulture, pisciculture, animal husbandry, food processing, etc, he said.

The Odisha government has achieved significant success in agriculture in recent years, the chief minister said, adding that the agri budget in Odisha has doubled in the past few years, and the State Government has won several awards, too.

“I am confident that in a few years’ time, Odisha will be the leader in the agri space,” Mr Patnaik said. Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment, Mr Pradeep Maharathy, Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister for Tourism & Culture, Odisha; Mr Prasanna Kumar Patasani, MP, Mr Bijaya Kumar Mohanty, MLA; Mr Priyadarshi Mishra, MLA were present at the mega event along with top bureaucrats; industry captains, senior officials from PSUs.

The Biju Patnaik Ground is the venue where the Chief Minister inaugurated the exhibition which is spread over 250,000 square feet where about 170 leading farm equipment makers and companies engaged in agriculture and allied sectors such as the Mahindras, Tata Agrico, Paradeep Phosphates, Kirloskar Brothers, and also Government agencies like IFFCO, APICOL, APEDA, etc., will over the next three days demonstrate and explain why the new-generation farmers in Odisha need to use latest post-harvest technologies and integrated farming methods to boost productivity.

The other highlights of Krushi Odisha are B2B & B2G meetings, and Krushak Pathshala, an interactive tutorial for farmers on the modern methods of farming.

About 10,000 farmers coming from 30 districts of Odisha will be trained by experts from various agricultural domains in latest farm technologies and modern agricultural practices, and provided hands-on training in how they can enhance cropping intensity and improve high yielding varieties of seeds.

Also lined up is a series of interactions between farmers and manufacturers of farm equipment. “The State Government is committed to accelerating inclusive and a sustainable growth in the farm sector, arguably the most vital in the State’s economy,” said Agriculture Minister Mr Maharathyat the Krushi Odisha – Odisha Investor Summit: Session on Opportunities in Agriculture and Sea Food Processing Sector in Odisha jointly organized by Odisha’s Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

It is high time investors started looking at Odisha as one of the most investible states, Mr Maharathy said.

“Increase in farm production and productivity are essential for providing food security to the vast majority of the population and achieving significant growth in their income levels,” Mr Maharathy said, adding that organic farming is being promoted in around 16000 acre through Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) in 10 districts.

According to Mr Maharathy, Farm Information Advisory Centres have been established in every block to enhance the outreach of extension network.

“MoU has been signed between APICOL and State Bank of India to improve credit linkage for agri enterprises in October, 2017,” he said.

“This year we have taken a giant leap in converting our state agricultural exhibition towards making it a national event as Krushi Odisha” said Maharathy. Dr Saurabh Garg, IAS, Principal Secretary Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment