BHUBANESWAR:The State Government is worried over the declining share of margin to farmers in the overall price paid by the consumer for their agricultural produce and has called for strengthening of farmer-industry linkage to increase their income.
Such linkage can be established by assured higher price for quality products along with with assistance and support for grading, packaging, processing and value addition, Chief Secretary G C Pati said at the ‘FARM2FORK 2014 Seminar-cum-Exposition on Food Processing & Agri-business Potential of Odisha,’ organised by CII here on Friday.
The Chief Secretary observed that farmers in Odisha do not realise good prices for their produce due to lack of processing like grading, packing and value addition. Farmers’ associations should be formed to provide training and financial assistance for aggregating, processing and value addition of the products and increase income.
Pati highlighted that there has been a significant decline in Odisha’s agriculture sector’s impact on the State GSDP. From 27 per cent in 2001, it has come down to 16 per cent in 2011.
However, the percentage of population dependent on cultivation has only come down from 64 per cent to 61 per cent between 2001 and 2011 Census.
He called upon industries to have direct linkages with farmers, facilitate the process of empowering them through knowledge and training, and provide quality seeds under assured remunerative price for their products. He also asked CII to come up with concrete recommendations for realisation of these objectives.
Taking part in the conclave, State Agriculture Secretary Rajesh Verma laid emphasis on post harvest management to arrest huge loss of horticulture and agricultural products to the tune of 25 to 30 per cent and 8 to 10 per cent respectively. The annual loss amount to a whopping `50,000 crore, he said.
Secretary, MSME, Panchanan Dash, Chairman, CII, Odisha State Council, D S Ravindra Raju and Convener, Agricultural Panel, CII, also spoke.