Bhubaneswar: The State Government has initiated steps to bring out an updated and dynamic Agricultural Policy aligning with the changing conditions of agriculture and markets.
To review the preparedness on the proposed policy, Chief Secretary Aditya Padhi convened a meeting with senior officials here on Tuesday.
Padhi laid stress on increasing agricultural productivity and improving market strategies which would enhance farmers’ income. He emphasized on creating an ecosystem to promote Farmer Production groups and mobilize private investment in the sector.
The departments were asked to submit their inputs for further development of the draft policy within two weeks. The policy should be oriented towards crop diversification, value addition and market linkages, Development Commissioner, Asit Tripathy said.
Odisha has made unprecedented progress in agriculture and allied sector through concerted interventions of Government over last few years, the officials stated.
Public investment in agriculture has reached Rs 17,000 cr in 2018-19. State Government has taken pioneering steps like rolling out an exclusive budget for agriculture and formulation of separate Agri-Cabinet.
“As a result, the State has become a surplus producer of food grains producing 117 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of food grain in 2016–17 with 25 lakh MT surplus in rice,” the officials added.
Odisha has also significantly increased its horticultural and live stock productions. The State has achieved fastest growth rate in country in enhancing monthly income of the farmers between 2002-03 and 2015-16.
During this period, the monthly average income of an Odisha farmer has increased from Rs 1,062 to Rs 7,731 indicating a growth of 16.5 percent against the national growth of 11.7 percent.
“Odisha’s agricultural policy was framed in 2013. Meanwhile, six years have passed; new technologies and marketing conditions have also emerged. In view of these, the new updated policy is being worked out. The vision of the policy is to harness agriculture potential of the State in a sustainable manner and raise farmers’ income continuously while ensuring nutritional security,” Agriculture Secretary Saurabh Garg said.
Available information revealed that the draft policy is being worked out through a wide process of consultation with experts, universities, civil society bodies and farmers’ groups. The policy recommends sector wise interventions for overcoming the difficulties faced over the last years and maximizing the outcomes.