Odisha to Script New Chapter in Agriculture

Bhubaneswar: Odisha is able to accelerate agricultural prosperity through various schemes and missions across all areas of agricultural activities, said Agriculture Minister Arun Sahoo here today.

The Minister, while rejecting the adjournment motion over farm distress, asserted that the KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) scheme has been introduced for the overall development of the cultivators and agriculture sector, which plays a significant role in providing livelihood to majority of the households in the State.

Besides KALIA, a slew of reforms and interventions by the State Government in the areas of sowing, farm mechanisation, irrigation, post-harvest management, financial assistance, have positively contributed to boost the farm sector, the Minister said.

The KALIA scheme has been a game changer to improve agriculture prosperity in the State. The Government had announced to provide financial assistance to 50 lakh small, marginal, sharecroppers and landless farmers under the scheme in 2018-19. Till June 24 this year, as many 36, 74, 710 small and marginal farmers have received financial assistance of Rs 5000 each, he said.

Around 25 lakh families of landless farmers will be provided financial assistance of Rs 12,500 each in three installments to boost their livelihood. Of them, 14, 70,580 farmers have received the first installment of Rs 5000 till date, he added.

As many as 51,45, 290 farmers have received the financial assistance under the KALIA scheme. 23, 54,710 more farmers will soon get the benefits. The Central Government has launched the PM Kishan taking cues from the KALIA scheme, he said.

Odisha’s susceptibility to natural disasters poses major challenges to the agriculture sector. In between 2000 to 2018, the State had witnessed eight major droughts, nine floods, three cyclones and three pest attacks that resulted in massive crop damages. However, the timely interventions of the government enabled the farmers to raise their incomes.

Odisha had registered total crop production of 55 lakh ton in 2000, which increased to 118 lakh ton in 2014-15 and 91.57 lakh ton in 2018-19. The production will further increase, he said. Not only rice, the state has witnessed double in production of rice, egg, fish and milk production .

The annual income of farmers stood at Rs 23,277 in 2002-2003, which increased to Rs 53, 540 in 2012-2013.

In order to provide more funds to this sector, the Odisha Government has made the provision of separate agriculture budget since 2013. The size of the agriculture budget has been increased three times to Rs 7162, 20,714 crore.

The government has also constituted Agriculture Cabinet in 2016 for the development of agriculture and allied sector and has implemented agriculture policy in order to achieve self-sufficiency of the farmers and enable the farmers to use modern technologies to boost farm output.

The minister further said that irrigation has always been a focus area of the government. The farmers are being input subsidy of 50 per cent to 75 per cent for the irrigation projects under Jalanidhi programme.

In order to boost the use of solar energy in agricultural development as well as empowerment of farmers, the government is providing up to 90 percent subsidy to the farmers for the purchase of solar pumps.

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