Sambalpur, 28th January 2023: Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik, in his video message at the inaugural function of Paschim Odisha Krushi Mela 2023, jointly organized by Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) and Department of Agriculture and Farmer Empowerment, Government of Odisha in association with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has said that farm mechanization is the need of the hour. While addressing the farmers of Western Odisha, he said that the state government is fully committed to the overall development of the farming community and it’s a top priority for the government. The state government’s Kalia, Balarama scheme, and Millet Mission are framed to achieve this very objective. He also appreciated the effort of farmers and said that due to their valuable contribution, Odisha has been conferred with many awards nationally at regular intervals.
On this occasion, Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment Sri Rajendra Pratap Swain said that Odisha has a focused approach towards agriculture. During the last 20 years,, the state has achieved exemplary success in production enhancement. We are nearer to self-sufficiency in fish, livestock, and egg production. Food grain production has increased from 55.35 lakh metric tonnes in 2000-01 to 130.29 lakh metric tonnes by 2020-21, an increase of 160 percent. Similarly, oilseed production has increased by 58 percent, pulses by 66 percent, and vegetable production increased by 67 percent. Fish production increased to 9 lakh 90 thousand metric tonnes in the last 20 years. Odisha is now the fourth largest fish producer of the country, he also mentioned.
The state government has implemented projects worth Rs 200Cr to mitigate the impact of floods in agricultural land. Western Odisha is the largest beneficiary of this program, He added.
Chairman of Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) Asit Kumar Tripathy said that we have prepared a plan to organize Krushak Mela at a different part of the state. As per the instruction of the Hon’ble Chief Minister, the first meal has been organized in Sambalpur. The agricultural sector contributes 20 percent to our economy. More than half of the population depends on agriculture. The government has committed to increasing the income of farmers. Our farmers need to focus more on the commercialization and market linkage of their products. They also need to embrace entrepreneurship. Many youths of the farming community have shown interest to start businesses. The government is giving 75 percent subsidy on machines. He urged farmers to take advantage of the scheme.
Among other dignitaries present on the occasion are Shri Prem Chandra Chaudhary, IAS, Director, Directorate of Agriculture and Food Production, Govt of Odisha, Ms. Ananya Das, IAS, Collector & DM, Sambalpur, Shri Kishore Chandra Nayak, MLA,
Kuchinda, Smt Kumudini Nayak, President ZP, Sambalpur, and other industry leaders & farmers.
More than 100 indoor and outdoor stalls, comprising Agri Implants, Millets, Handlooms, Handicrafts, and live demonstrations of heavy machinery have been seen at the event. 5 progressive farmers from Western Odisha were awarded for their exemplary work in agriculture and farming. Hon’ble Agriculture minister today handed over keys of the combine harvester, Tractor, and Mudhi Making machine to the progressive farmers using the direct benefit transfer (DBT) system.
The five-day seminars will have plenary sessions on Revitalizing Rice Based Cropping System, Enhancing farmer’s income through horticultural intervention, Climate Resilient Agriculture, Agri Export Promotion, Income Enhancement Through Fisheries activities, Income Enhancement Through Livestock Activities, Agribusiness
– Flourishing Agri enterprise. For the training of the farmers on various subjects like Participation of Women in Farm Mechanization Sector, Fish Farming through Cage Culture & Biofloc, Integrated Farming Systems, International Year of Millets; Opportunities & Benefits of Growing Millets, Offseason Vegetable Cultivation and
exotic Fruits Cultivation: Problems and Prospects, Micro Irrigation & Protected Cultivation: Benefits & Challenges.