“Value Addition will lead to income enhancement of Farmers in Odisha”

Resource persons and top officials of the state Govt. discussed at length about the contemporary situation of agriculture in the state in a knowledge sharing exercise during ‘Krushi Odisha’ 2020

Bhubaneswar: “Odisha has seen a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) increase somewhere around 17 percent which is the highest in the country. The agricultural GDP of the state has doubled itself in the period from 2007 to 2017. Moreover, livestock, poultry, milk and fisheries would further help to increase farmers’ income in the coming time”, said R Raghu Prasad, Commissioner cum Secretary, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Dept, Govt. of Odisha at the seminar on ‘Market Linkages and Value Addition’, organised as a part of knowledge sharing activities duirng ‘Krushi Odisha’ 2020 held in Bhubaneswar.

Mr. Prasad, who joined the session as the Chief Guest further added that the manifold increase in farmers’ income was due to various successful schemes and initiatives of the state government.

“The farmers’ income has grown 7 times from 2002 to 2017 as per NABARD NSSO survey in context of Odisha”, he informed.

“What we need today in Odisha is a 360 degree approach. We have to produce what the market needs. The government aims at attaining self sufficiency in fish production. We are also encouraging a variety of measures in promoting allied agriculture activities like promoting private hatcheries, fish filleting, and opening up of hygienic fish stalls across the state in a PPP mode, among others,” he added.

Rajen Padhy, Director, B-One Business House, who moderated the session, drew attention to the fact that 63 percent of the population in the state is dependent on agriculture. He further said that, as per the statistics over 60 percent of the demand for agro products is from the rural economy and hence the rural-class is the driver of our economy today.

“Agri-business is the keyword today and this will be relevant in coming years. Seafood export in 2006-2008 was valued at 408 cr. which rose to 3600 cr. in 2018. A single farmer could be too resource less but FPOs can earn a lot and make a difference to the farmers’ lives. Every GP should have a kiosk on Govt. schemes to impart information on the same” opined Mr Padhee, a seasoned exporter from Odisha.

Mr. Nalin Raval, CEO, NCML Agri-business Consultants Pvt. Ltd. informed that his company has 6 Mn. Sq. Ft of warehouses across the country.

“We have developed www.marketyard.com, a revolutionary e-auction and e-procurememt system (eMPRO) which helps farmers get good price for their produce right from the comfort of their home. We have spread across 28 states and 2 UTs. We have Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) across the country. In our warehouses at Jeypore (Koraput) we keep cotton, cashew, maize, pulses,” he said.

Another panelist Mr. Amit Goyal, Managing Director, Star Agri Warehousing Pvt. Ltd. said the gathering about Agribazaar, a tech enabled online marketplace for India, world’s largest and rapidly growing Agri-economy, addressing challenges of diversity and unorganized structure, integrated with last mile linkages.

Mr. Samarendra Mishra, Director, OVO Farms Pvt Ltd. opined that farmers do not earn a good amount of money. The farming community is largely dependent on the Govt. intervention and policies.

“We can either talk about livelihood or profitability of farmers because they deal with food. This can only be achieved by value addition. Farmers can group together to form small cooperatives and try for value addition to their products,” he said.

The concluding speaker of the seminar was Mr. Nagesh K. Barik, Sr. Scientist, Agribusiness Incubation Centre, ICAR- Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA). He said that there is a need to create good quality seed bank by the farmers. He also talked of spawn transport which is neither difficult nor costly. He laid stress on developing other means of fish farming apart from freshwater harvesting to enhance income of farmers from allied sources.

The seminar concluded while noting the importance of value addition to agro based products and the need of creation of cooperatives, clusters, FPOs to help farmers add something to their product and link the right market to their produce in order to increase profitability.

‘Krushi Odisha’, the annual flagship five day exhibitions cum Agri-fest, organized by the Dept. of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment, Govt. of Odisha in collaboration with FICCI is being held from 20-24 January 2020 at Janata Maidan, Bhubaneswar. The mega programme which envisages leading farmers to profitability, involves various aspects like farm income, implements, modern technology in farming, financial assistance to farmers and capacity building.

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