Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the Krushi Odisha-2020, the state Agriculture Fair, at Janata Maidan here, Monday. On the occasion, the Chief Minister said that the dedication and hard work of the state’s farmers had made Odisha the third largest contributor to country’s public distribution system (PDS) and has helped it win the Krishi Karman Award for six consecutive times for food grain production.
On the occasion, Patnaik focused on use of latest technology by the farmers. He said the state government is working towards development of farmers. “The KALIA scheme has enhanced the prestige of farmers in the state. I want farmers to make extensive use of new technology and become the face of development.”
Naveen launched the state’s agriculture policy of 2020—‘Samridhi’— 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.
Agriculture Minister Arun Sahoo said that income of farmers in Odisha has increased by 7 per cent than what it was during 2002-2003. The state government is now focusing more on cultivation of millets in 70 blocks of 14 districts. Dedicated mandis for procurement of millets have been set up for the first time, said Sahoo.
The state’s agricultural GDP also doubled between 2001 and 2016-17 in real terms with an average growth of 4.5 per cent which is higher than the national average. Odisha also contributes 3 per cent to the country’s total agricultural GDP.
The theme of the Krushi Odisha -2020 is profitability of farmers. This year, the fair aims at increasing farmers’ income by focusing on ways to improve market linkage and sourcing of products from the state.
As many as 228 stalls are put up to showcase the latest technological developments made in the field. The fair also witnessed participation of agriculture and industry experts from across the country and abroad as well as pioneering farmers and entrepreneurs from the state.
“Altogether 112 companies from across the country and abroad are participating in the fair. Workshops and seminars have been arranged everyday to make farmers aware of the new agricultural methods.
This time the fair has been given three distinct themes for the three main days. January 21 will be observed as ‘Co-operation and Banking Day’. The discussions and seminars on the day will revolve around increasing productivity and income. January 22 is named ‘People’s Representative Day’ with the focus on organising farmers into groups for better linkage with industries, participation of Panchayati Raj institutions in agriculture and smart solutions by agri start-ups. The third day is called ‘Women’s Day’ which will focus on women participation in agricultural processes.
On the occasion the Chief Minister felicitated 10 farmers at the fair and also gave recruitment letter to new assistant agriculture officers.