Bhubaneswar: With an aim to enhance farmers’ income, the state government is planning to introduce a comprehensive agricultural policy in tune with the changing conditions of farming and agricultural market.
A high-level meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi here Tuesday to chalk out the policy.
Agriculture secretary Sourav Garg said last Odisha Agricultural Policy was framed in 2013. Meanwhile, six years have passed and new technologies and marketing conditions have emerged. In view of all these, the new updated policy is being worked out, he said.
Garg said 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.
The policy recommends sector wise interventions for overcoming difficulties faced over past many years and maximizing the outcome.
Going by the draft policy, Padhi directed concerned officials to focus on enhancing farmers’ income through appropriate production and marketing strategies. He also suggested creating an ecosystem for improving the lot of the farmer producer groups and mobilizing private investment in the sector. The line departments were asked to give their inputs for further development of the draft policy within two weeks.
Development Commissioner Asit Kumar Tripathy said the policy should be oriented towards crop diversification, value addition and market linkages. Agriculture Production Commissioner Gagan Kumar Dhal sought to develop calamity resilient seeds and agricultural practices.
According to sources, public investment in agriculture sector in the state has reached Rs 17,000 crore in 2018-19 and the state has become a surplus producer of food grains producing 117 lakh MT of food grains in 2016-17 with 25 lakh MT surplus in rice.
The government claimed that state had achieved fastest growth rate in the country in enhancing monthly income of farmers between 2002-03 and 2015-16. During this period, the monthly average income of Odisha farmers has increased from Rs 1062 to Rs 7731 indicating a growth of 16.5 per cent against the national growth of 11.7 per cent.