Irrigation potential up by 13 lakh hectares: Naveen
The Chief Minister said when he assumed office in 2000, one of the things which disturbed him the most was the state of agriculture.
BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik claimed that the State Government has created irrigation potential of 13.29 lakh hectares in the last 17 years from 2000.
Addressing a function organised by Watershed Mission at the Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), where newly appointed soil conservation officers were given appointment letters, the Chief Minister said irrigation potential of the State upto 2000 was 24.87 lakh hectares. Total irrigation potential created by March, 2017 is 38.16 lakh hectares.
The Chief Minister said when he assumed office in 2000, one of the things which disturbed him the most was the state of agriculture. "It was subsistence agriculture and we were a food grain deficit State. We had to depend on railway rakes from Punjab and Haryana to feed our own people," he said.
In next six years, Odisha achieved self-sufficiency in production of paddy, Naveen said and added that it is now the third largest contributor to the public distribution system. Kalahandi is now the rice bowl of the State and the country, he said and added that production has now increased substantially as is evident from the Krishi Karman Award, which Odisha bagged four times. "This transformation was possible due to sustained efforts in certain key areas," he said.
Stating that watershed programmes primarily impact the small and marginal farmers, Naveen said soil conservation, integrated farming and water use efficiency are the needs of the time. He advised the soil conservation officers to play a proactive role keeping the interest of farmers in mind. Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout, Agriculture Production Commissioner GK Dhal and senior officers attended.