Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], October 2 (ANI): Highlighting the efforts of the state government towards the development and empowerment of farmers, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday said that crop diversification, improved water provision and the use of technology have made a transformative impact in the agriculture sector in Odisha.
Addressing the 50th foundation day celebration of Odisha Lift Irrigation Corporation (OLIC) at State Convention Centre in Lok Seva Bhawan, Chief Minister Patnaik said that OLIC has played a significant role in providing the critical component of water to farmers.
Notably, OLIC was established on October 1, 1973.
He said over the last fifty years, OLIC has contributed to 30 per cent of the total irrigation facility of the state by irrigating over 13.50 lakh hectares of cultivable land.
Speaking on the transformation of the state in food grain production, Patnaik said that known for food deficiency and poverty a few decades ago, Odisha has now become a food surplus state and the third largest supplier of food grains to our country's public distribution system.
"Our progressive policies in the farm sector have a transformative impact. Sustainability, crop diversification, improved water provision and use of technology are changing the way of farming," Patnaik said while appreciating the role of OLIC in providing the critical water component.
In an agrarian state like Odisha, Patnaik said farmers are the backbones of the food security system. "We need an assured and uninterrupted water supply for enhancing productivity and improve the livelihood of our farmers. We have conceptualized various irrigation projects in the State to achieve our objective in this direction," he stressed.
He said that providing irrigation facilities in the minimum possible time and that too with minimal expenditure in all the 30 districts require hard work and commitment.
He expected OLIC to follow the 5T Principles in bringing out transformation in lift irrigation sector.
Patnaik advised OLIC employees to understand the issues of farmers. "Understanding farmers' problems and quickly addressing their issues can greatly enhance the confidence of farmers in the system," he said.
The Chief Minister also launched E-Lift and ERP automation for the OLIC. He also dedicated a Toll-Free number for customer relationship centres. He released a commemorative book on the occasion.
According to OLIC, it has set up over 1 lakh bore well till now and will set up another one lakh in the next five years. (ANI)