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Odisha govt woos Delhi-NCR investors in agri-marketing 

The Week , Oct 10, 2018

To boost farmers' income in a sustainable manner, the Odisha government Wednesday invited private investors to explore opportunities in the agri-marketing sector.

Companies like Maersk, Bayer, Mother Dairy and StarAgri were asked to invest in the state ahead the biennial 'Make in Odisha Conclave, 2018' scheduled for November 11-15 in Bhubaneswar.

"In order to realise the goal of enhancing farmers' income further in a sustainable manner, the Government of Odisha is seeking private investments across a range of areas under agriculture marketing," state cooperation minister Surjya Narayan Patra said at the workshop organised along with FICCI to woo investors from Delhi-NCR.

There are opportunities in developing quality infrastructure for storage, grading, sorting, packaging and trading of agricultural produce as well as providing ease of trade between sellers and buyers respectively, he was quoted as saying in a statement.

The other focus areas include enabling hassle-free IT-based interface with governmental setups for compliances and offering modern features such as electronic trading platforms, warehousing receipts and quality assaying facilities, he added.

The minister said that the state government has undertaken several reforms to give a thrust to agriculture marketing.

He said that the state is in the process of approving a new Odisha Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion & Facilitation) Act, 2018 to provide an enabling environment to all stakeholders under agricultural marketing with minimal regulation and maximum facilitation.

The state is promoting ‘Kalinga Pure’ brand for agricultural produce from Odisha. For which steps are being taken to provide for third party assaying, which will be objective and as per stringent protocols.

The state is also promoting contract farming and plans to incorporate the provisions in the new Odisha Agricultural Produce and Livestock Contract Farming and Services (Promotion & Facilitation) Act, 2018.

According to the Odisha government, it seeks private sector investment in the development of new marketing infrastructure such as market yards, warehouses, cold storages and facilities for grading, sorting and packaging.

Besides, there are major wholesale markets planned for major cities such as Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, for which the government would like to explore PPP models for creation and operation of such markets, the state added.