**Bhubaneswar:** While Odisha earns laurels by bagging the fourth Krishi Karman Award in five years and also by bagging the 9th Global Agriculture Leadership Award 2016 in recognition of its efforts towards agricultural growth and rural prosperity, opposition here turns red-faced as the farmers in the State are still languishing in a distress state and cases of suicides being reported every year.
The State received Krishi Karman Award for the fourth-time in total food grains production for 2014-15.
It bagged the award for achieving a record food grain production of 118.24 lakh tonne in 2014-15.
Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy received the award from Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a special function held in New Delhi in March this year.
Instituted by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the award consists of a trophy, a citation and cash amount of Rs 5 crore.
For Odisha, this is the third successive Krishi Karman award since 2012-13. Earlier, the State also bagged the award in 2010-11, official sources said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik @Naveen Odisha had tweeted then: “Congratulate State’s hard working farmers for Krishi Karman award for total food grains, 2014-15. This is 4th award in 5 years. Cabinet dedicates the award to our hard working farmers”.
In 2014-15, Odisha produced 118 lakh metric tonne of foodgrains against 96 lakh metric tonne in 2013-14.
Odisha also bagged the 9th Global Agriculture Leadership Award 2016 in recognition of its efforts towards development of agriculture and bringing rural prosperity.
Odisha Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Minister Pradeep Maharathy received the award from Haryana Governor K S Solanki at a function at New Delhi two days back.
Instituted by the Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA) in 2008, the award is given annually to the individuals and organisations in recognition of excellence and leadership roles played towards development of agriculture linked to the lives of millions of farmers.
On the flip side, opposition has a cynical approach as the sad situation of the farmers here still persists and also going by the growing numbers of suicidal deaths of the distressed farmers reported from across the State.
Former Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik lampooned, “Even certain examinees pass being copy cats. It’s funny to note how the State Government is bagging prizes when farmer suicides, distress sale of farm produce and fertilizer shortage have become the order of the day during this regime”.
Taking a potshot, former Odisha BJP president Suresh Pujari fumed, “A day will come when the very report on the basis of which this Government is bagging awards will be proved wrong. While this Government is busy in cultivating files, poor farmers are left in the lurch despite their concerted efforts in cultivation. Odisha Government stands first in the world to flaunt colourful pictures in pen and paper”.