Odisha Agriculture Dept Inks MoUs For Quality Seeds, Expediting Farmers’ Financial Inclusion, Growth

Bhubaneswar: Since Odisha is predominantly an agrarian State where more than 60% people depend on agriculture and their economic growth directly relate to development of farm sector, quality seed plays a vital role in this direction and alone increases the production to the extent of 20%.

Thus, the Agriculture Department today signed several memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with different corporations for enhancing financial inclusion and growth of the farmers.

The special occasion was graced by Odisha Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo at Krushi Bhawan here.

Talking to media, the Minister said, “Every year an agreement is inked with all the corporations like APICOL, Seed Corporation, Kaju (Cashew nut) Corporation, OIC, etc. This year, we made it public so that the people of Odisha should know about the various activities being undertaken by the Agriculture Department and also about the targets and the extent of achievements. The general public should also have their involvement in it.”

“Today also an MoU signed with Dvara Trust. Besides, MoU with HIL and NAFED. This is in connection with quality seeds, especially non-paddy seeds. Our aim is to be self-reliant and instead of depending on other States, we could rather export,” asserted the Agriculture Minister.

HIL MD S.P. Mohanty in his media reactions said, “The MoU with Odisha Government was signed in a bid to have quality seed production here in the State. HIL has expertise on it. Prior to this, HIL has already done various programmes here in the State. HIL is also manufacturing agro-chemicals. In near future we are going to set up a plant at Huma in Ganjam with an investment of Rs 300 crore. Our target is for a turnover of almost Rs 1000 crore by 2024 in Odisha.”

“The target adopted by Odisha Government in seed production, HIL has played its pivotal role. By this seed production, the farmers of Odisha will be very much benefitted. Quality seed stands as a big problem today because the farmers are having access to duplicate ones. It is hampering a lot the financial backbone of the farmers, also the pesticides. Hence, HIL has decided to set up own plant in Odisha to provide quality seeds, quality pesticides and quality fertilizers to the farmers here,” he averred.

NAFED GM Bina Kumari her media reactions said, “Today we have signed an MoU with the Odisha Government for seed production for the next three years. The basic work of NAFED is to provide the farmers with the benefit of MSP. We have also purchased oil seeds and pulses from lots of States. This is for the first time that we are signing agreement with the Odisha Government for seed production.”

“Initially, no target for Odisha has been decided. It will be decided subsequently in the future meetings. We have missed the Kharif season. We’ll start our production from Rabi season. The farmers of Odisha will get the seeds produced by NAFED. The seeds produced by us will have its marketing through the Seed Corporation in entire Odisha,” she informed.

Dvara Trust head in Odisha Sanjay Mansapda said, “So far the landless farmers issue is concerned, the problem is the identity and livelihood. So we will gather the complete information. We are going to create the data-based platform.”         

As per a press note released on the occasion, quality paddy seeds to the extent of 3.40 lakh quintals have been supplied in current year as against 2.27 lakh quintals during 2000-01. The seed replacement ratio (SRR) in respect of paddy in the State is 22.01% last year. It has been programmed to supply 6 lakh quintals of paddy seeds with SRR of 34% during Kharif-2020 and this target can be achieved easily.

The press note further stated that the State is self sufficient in production of paddy seeds, but in case of pulses and oil seeds, there is a gap in production and demand. The SRR in pulses and oil seeds in the State is spiralling around 8-10%.

There is a demand of Greengram, Blackgram and Groundnut to the tune of 11138 quintals, 6622 quintals and 38111 quintals respectively during 2019-20 but the maximum expected production from OSSC Ltd is 8000 quintal, 3000 quintals and 12000 quintals respectively.

For this purpose, the Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment Department decided to produce the rest of the quantity of selected non-paddy seeds inside the State by signing this tripartite agreement with Hindustan Insecticide Limited (HIL) and National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation India Ltd (NAFED).

This agreement shall remain valid for coming three years (2019-20 to 202-22).

It is expected that the State will become self-reliant in pulses and oil seeds production in the process.

Also an MoU was signed with Dvara Trust that will work closely with the Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment Department in deploying a holistic data-based platform to improve the livelihoods of farmers, especially landless and tenant farmers in the State.