The Odisha government on Friday released the draft Agricultural policy with focus on raising farmers income and overall development of the agriculture sector.
Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo said the policy aims to strengthen the economic and social wellbeing of farmers, sharecroppers and landless labourers.
"The policy is focused on farmers' well-being and is formulated to build on the inherent strengths of its agriculture and allied sectors, to address the constraints it faces and to make optimal use of resources and opportunities emerging on account of advancement in technology," Sahoo said.
The state had last time rolled out its agricultural policy in 2013 which helped the sector in many ways, the minister said, adding that the state has become a surplus producer of food grains by producing 117 lakh MT of food grains in 2016-17.
He also claimed that the state has achieved fastest growth rate in the country in enhancing monthly income of the farmers between 2002-03 and 2015-16. During this period, the monthly average income of Odisha farmer has increased from Rs 1,062 to Rs 7,731 indicating a growth of 16.5 per cent against the national growth of 11.7 per cent.
On the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (Kalia) scheme launched in December, 2018, the policy suggests that it be extended for another five years.
Earlier, the scheme was planned for only five crops. Under the scheme, the small and marginal farmers get financial assistance of Rs 5,000 per crop and some benefits for sharecroppers and landless agriculture farmers.
The draft policy deals with sector specific strategy on eight points like leveraging science and technology, adoption to climate change, markets, higher productivity, infrastructure, diversification, skilling and strengthening institutions.
The draft policy mentioned that 48 per cent of labourers in Odisha are female. There are an estimated 50,000 single landless women in the state and they will be treated as a special target group for development intervention.
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