Odisha government has decided to roll out a new state Agriculture Policy 2019, official sources said on Tuesday.
“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,” Chief Secretary A P Padhi said after chairing a high level meeting for the purpose.
Padhi Tuesday asked the Agriculture and Farmer Empowerment department to focus on enhancing farmers” income through appropriate production and marketing strategies.
He said the new policy should help create ecosystem for flourishing of farmer producer groups and mobilizing private investment in the sector.
“The departments were asked to give their inputs for further development of the draft policy within two weeks,” Padhi said while Development Commissioner A K Tripathy opined that the policy should be oriented towards crop diversification, value addition and market linkages.
Agriculture Production Commissioner GK Dhal suggested that calamity resilient seeds and agricultural practices be developed.
The general observation at the meeting concluded that Odisha has made unprecedented progress in agriculture and allied sector through concerted interventions of the government.
Public investment in Agriculture has reached Rs 17,000 crore in 2018-19 and Odisha has taken pioneering steps like rolling out an exclusive budget for agriculture and formation of separate Agri-Cabinet, said Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment secretary Sourav Garg.
Garg said the state has become a surplus producer of food grains by producing 117 lakh MT of food grain in 2016-17.
State has also achieved fastest growth rate in the country in enhancing monthly income of the farmers between 2002-03 to 2015-16, Garg said, adding that during this period, the monthly average income of Odisha farmer has increased from Rs 1,062 to Rs 7,731 indicating a growth of 16.5 per cent against the national growth of 11.7 per cent.
Asked about requirement of new agriculture policy, Garg said six years have passed since the Odisha Agriculture Policy was framed in 2013.
“New technologies and marketing conditions have also emerged. In view of all these, the new updated policy is being worked out, he said.
Garg said the draft policy is being worked out through a wide process of consultation with experts, universities, civil society bodies and farmers” groups. The policy recommends sector wise interventions for overcoming the difficulties faced in last years and maximizing of the outcomes, he said.