BHUBANESWAR: With farmers’ issues taking political centre stage and doubling farmers income being the prime agenda, the State Government has initiated steps to bring out an updated and dynamic agricultural policy keeping in tune with the changing conditions of agriculture and agricultural market.
A draft policy is being worked out through a wide process of consultation with experts, universities, civil society and farmers’ groups.
The policy recommends sector wise interventions for overcoming the difficulties faced in past years and creating a conducive climate for maximising investment in farm sector while protecting the interest of the farmers.
A high-level inter-sectoral meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi here on Tuesday decided to focus on enhancing farmers’ income through increased productivity and appropriate marketing strategies.
The Chief Secretary said the aim of the policy should be to create an ecosystem with built-in provisions for insulating farmers from financial distress caused by natural disasters and making agriculture financially viable.
Emphasising on enhanced value addition with the objective to create off-farm employment in rural areas, the proposed policy should widen opportunity for private investment. He asked departments concerned to give their inputs for further development of the draft policy within two weeks.
Replying to media query, Agriculture Secretary Sourabh Garg said the Odisha Agricultural Policy was last revised in 2013.
Meanwhile, six years have passed. New technologies and marketing conditions have also emerged. In view of all these, a new policy is being worked out. “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,” he said.
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 advised developing calamity resilient seeds and agricultural practices.
The state has achieved unprecedented progress in agriculture and allied sectors through concerted interventions of the Government. Public investment in agriculture has reached Rs 17,000 crore in 2018-19, official sources said.
Odisha, which has been getting Krishi Karman Award from the Centre for farm productivity, is one of the surplus producers of food grains producing 117 lakh tonne in 2016-17 with 25 lakh tonne of surplus rice. The monthly income of the farmers has seen a rapid growth of 16.5 per cent between 2002-03 and 2015-16. The monthly average income of the farmers has increased from `1,062 to `7,731 indicating a growth of 16.5 per cent as against the national growth of 11.7 per cent.
Focus on enhancing farmers’ income through increased productivity
Oriented towards crop diversification, value addition and market linkages
Ecosystem for insulating farmers from financial distress caused by natural disasters
Agricultural Policy was last revised in 2013
Rs 17,000 crore public investment in agriculture in 2018-19
117 lakh tonnes of rice produced in 2016-17
Rs 7,731monthly average income of the farmers