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Odisha woos investors in agri-marketing 

The State Government on Wednesday wooed industry leaders at an event in Gurugram to invest in food processing sector and marketing infrastructure besides exploring models of setting up and operation of facilities in PPP mode.Speaking at a consultative workshop, Minister for Food Supplies, Consumer Welfare and Cooperation Surya Narayan Patro said the State seeks private sector investment in the development of new marketing infrastructure such as market yards, warehouses, cold storage and facilities for grading, sorting and packaging.

“There are major wholesale markets planned for cities like Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, for which the Government would like to explore PPP models for creation and operation of such markets for ease of trade between sellers and buyers,” he said.The workshop was organised by the State Government and FICCI on agriculture marketing in the run-up to the Make-in-Odisha Conclave 2018 scheduled next month.

Patro said 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 are being focused. “Odisha has already attained self-sufficiency in food production. Over the last few years, the State has experienced success in terms of crop area, production, productivity and food security leading to a rise in farmers’ income,” he added.

The Odisha Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2018 has been framed to provide an enabling environment to stakeholders under agricultural marketing with minimal regulation and maximum facilitation. The Act expected to get the approval of the Government soon will boost contract farming. Besides, a full-fledged Warehousing Act, which will lay down licensing conditions for warehouses as well as promote warehousing receipt system, is awaiting approval.

The Government has also decided to set up assaying facilities in the regional marketing committees to establish the brand ‘Kalinga Pure’ that signifies the excellence of produce.The workshop was attended by over 50 investors based in Delhi-NCR who expressed their interest to explore investment opportunities in Odisha’s agriculture marketing sector. They included leading names like Maersk, Bayer, Mother Dairy and StarAgri among others.