Odisha's new agricultural policy to focus on use of technology
The New Indian Express , Jan 21, 2020
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday released the State Agriculture Policy 2020, ‘Samrudhi’, with focus on crop diversification, market linkage and use of technology. The policy lays emphasis on diversification from paddy to the high-income crops during the rabi season.
Addressing the farmers at the inaugural ceremony of Krushi Odisha 2020 here, the Chief Minister said the State Government is working towards development of farmers. Stating that KALIA scheme has enhanced the prestige of farmers, he called upon farmers to make extensive use of new technology and become partners in the development of Odisha.
The policy was approved at the State Cabinet meeting presided over by the Chief Minister on December 17. The new policy is focused on farmers’ wellbeing and has been formulated to build on the inherent strengths of its agriculture and allied sectors. Official sources said the policy aims to address the constraints the sector faces and make optimal use of resources and emergence of accelerated economic growth in the State.
The policy focuses on creating an eco-system interlinking input production markets, sustainable increase in yields of paddy and diversification to high value agriculture (HVA) and encouraging efficient and ecologically sensitive use of inputs.
Agriculture Minister Arun Sahoo informed that income of farmers in Odisha has increased by seven per cent from what it was during 2002-2003. The State Government is now focussing on cultivation of millets in 70 blocks of 14 districts and dedicated mandis for procurement of millets have been set up for the first time, he said.
He said the policy will ensure continuous increase in income of farmers and make the process inclusive of small and marginal cultivators to achieve sustainable, stable and scalable agriculture growth. Secretary General of FICCI Dilip Chenoy said in the last 16 years, Odisha’s agricultural GDP has doubled in real terms, clocking an average annual growth rate of about 4.5 per cent, higher than all India average of 3.1 per cent.
Among others, Agriculture Production Commissioner Pradipta Mohapatra and Secretary of the Union Fertiliser department Chhabindra Roul addressed the function. Besides being the third largest contributor to the country’s public distribution system, Odisha has won Krishi Karman Award six times.
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