BHUBANESWAR: The State Government is committed to improve farm mechanisation and double the income of farmers to encourage young people to look at agriculture as a rewarding source of livelihood, said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after inaugurating the Statelevel Agriculture Festival here on Tuesday.
While the income of farmers in the State has doubled between 2003 and 2013, a series of steps are being taken with an aim to increase their income two-times more, he added. “The Government has initiated measures to improve production and productivity with sustainable agricultural practices to increase farmers’ income by promoting efficient production technology, post-harvest solutions, value-addition and remunerative market options,” he said.
At Odisha Investor Summit: Session on Opportunities in Agriculture and Sea Food Processing Sector, jointly organised by Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Minister Pradeep Maharathy said it is high time investors started looking at Odisha as one of the most investible States. “Increase in farm production and productivity are essential for providing food security to the vast majority of population and achieving significant growth in their income levels,” Maharathy said and informed that organic farming was being promoted in around 16,000 acres through Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) in 10 districts.
Secretary in the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Saurabh Garg said over 10,000 farmers from 30 districts are attending four-day Krushi Pathsala where experts from various agricultural domains will educate them in modern agricultural practices and provide hands-on training on improving productivity. Among others, Minister for MSME Prafulla Samal, Secretary, Cooperation Department, Ranjana Chopra, Director of Agriculture and Food Production M Muthukumar and Regional Director of CII (East and North East) Nita Karmakar also spoke. A compendium of investible projects in agriculture and allied sectors in Odisha was released on the occasion.
ITC is exploring possibilities of investments in organic farming and aqua cultivation in Odisha.
“Yes, an exercise has begun, and we are very positive about it. We hope that things will fructify in a
couple of years,” said General Manager (Industry Affairs) of ITC Ltd (Agri Business Division) P P
Venkat Ram Redddy, on the sidelines of the summit