Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], April 29 (ANI): In a step towards enhancing the cash return to the farmers and creation of subsidiary employment opportunities in the agricultural sector, the Odisha government on Wednesday started initiative of crop diversification in mega lift point ( MILP) ayacut areas of the state.
According to the state government, with due deliberation, the target was set to achieve non-paddy cultivation in 60 per cent of the MILP ayacut areas during the coming cropping seasons.
The state government's release said the action plan for the coming Kharif season towards this effect was discussed in a high-level meeting held on digital mode under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra wherein Secretary Agriculture and Farmers' Empowerment Suresh Kumar Vashishth outlined the issues for discussion.
It said that the Chief Secretary while emphasising the positive impact of crop diversification on the agricultural sector, directed to enhance non-paddy cultivation in MILP areas during the ensuing Kharif season.
Development Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena said that there is the potentiality of non-paddy cultivation in more than 70 per cent the MILP ayacut areas. Additional Chief Secretary and Agriculture Production Commissioner Raj Kumar Sharma advised undertaking intensive awareness and engagements with farmers for effecting real changes at ground level.
Principal Secretary Water Resources Anu Garg appraised that the ayacuts would be redesigned and water supply would be regulated as per the requirements of non-paddy crops. With due deliberation, the target was set to achieve non-paddy cultivation in 60 per cent of the MILP ayacut areas during the coming cropping seasons.
Further, Chief Secretary Mahapatra also directed officials to assess the annual non-paddy requirement for utilization in different programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDM), Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), supplementary nutrition programmes, residential school hostels among others.
The department was also asked to explore different marketing facilities of non-paddy products through e-NAM, Markfed and online marketing systems both in the Government and private sectors. The details of the procurement plan were discussed in the meeting.
The government said that presently, non-paddy produces are being procured through agricultural primary cooperative societies, and the proposal for involving WSHGs and Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) in the procurement process was given in-principle approval by the Chief Secretary.
Chief Secretary Mahapatra also directed to "start early engagement with farmers before the onset of the ensuing Kharif season". (ANI)