Odisha agri sector open to national, global players: CM

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As part of the Odisha government’s efforts to remove intermediaries to increase the income of farmers, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Friday said agriculture and allied sectors of the state are now open to national and global players.

Inaugurating the Odisha Agri Conclave 2021 on a virtual platform, the chief minister invited top agri-business leaders to be partners in scripting the growth story of the sector in the coastal state.

The conclave aims to link farmers of Odisha to an organised national market, an official release said.

“Our emphasis is to enhance the income of farmers. So we must respond to the dynamics of the market. We need to streamline their connectivity to the aggregators and processors to play the role of producers.

We need to remove intermediaries who don’t add value to the supply chain,” the chief minister said.

Highlighting that development of agriculture and empowering farmers is the priority of his government, Patnaik said Odisha has a conducive policy environment for which the state aspires to become an investment destination by continuously creating and delivering opportunities for business growth.

Citing challenges of frequent natural calamities including drought, cyclones, and flood, he said the state government has worked out all possible measures to ensure uninterrupted growth of agriculture and the economy of the state.

It is now evident that agri-sector is a silver lining in the current Covid-19 pandemic situation, he said.

Pointing out that Odisha’s farmer-focused approach backed by various schemes and programmes has started to yield results, the chief minister said the state has attained self-sufficiency in food production and is now the third-largest contributor to the nation’s Public Distribution System.

Some of the key produces that are available for value addition are seafood, cashew-nut, organic millets, turmeric, coffee, black pepper, mango, jackfruit, sweet potato, tamarind, and honey. Today, Kandhamal Turmeric, Similipal Honey, Koraput Coffee have created their own brand values across the globe for their exceptional qualities , he said.

Speaking on the state’s policy framework for various sectors, he said that the Odisha government has introduced a separate agriculture budget and has a robust agriculture policy.

Odisha’s Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo said the state is a pioneer in promoting agriculture enterprises through ease of doing business.

Mukhya Mantri Krushi Udyog Yojana has been a great support to farm sector business, he added.

The conclave is a joint endeavour of the State Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Department and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India to make the process of farming easier for farmers.

Adani Wilmer Ltd, Amul, Coffee Board of India, Big Basket and many other top national and global players participated in the conclave.

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