Odisha targets to double farmers’ income in five years

Bhubaneswar, Nov 17 (IANS) The Odisha government has set a target to double the income of state farmers in the next five years, an official said on Thursday.

According to the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) report, Odisha is the only state in the country to have doubled the income of its farmers between 2003 to 2013, said Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi while briefing reporters on the Cabinet meeting on agriculture.

“Against a 34 per cent all-India average increase in income of farmers, Odisha has posted a 108 per cent increase,” Padhi said.

He said in 2003 the average monthly income of the farmers in Odisha was Rs 1,000 which has gone slightly over Rs 2,000 in 2012-13.

The Cabinet meeting on agriculture, presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, decided to optimise the agricultural productivity in the state.

“The meeting discussed the steps to further double the income of the farmers in the next five years. To achieve the target, the state government will make the irrigation network more intensive and expedite mega lift irrigation projects,” said the Chief Secretary.

He said there would be 10-15 mega lift irrigation projects in each of the 17 clusters in the state over the next five years.

He said the efforts are on to augment the irrigation potential and use of technology in the agriculture sector. A target has been set up to energise this year 12,000 bore wells, of which 6,500 bore wells have been energised so far.

“Efforts will be made to energise the remaining bore wells in next 4-5 months,” Padhi added.

The Chief SXecretary said the government has ensured crop insurance coverage of more than Rs 1,700 crore benefiting more than 11 lakh affected farmers in the state this year.

Stating that irrigation is one of the primary concerns for the government, he said the annual target would be to create irrigation potential for 2.5 lakh hectares.

He said a committee will be constituted at the state level, under the chairmanship of Development Commissioner, to monitor the creation of irrigation potential and to close the gap between the potential created and utilized on a monthly basis.

The progress made will be appraised in the cabinet meetings on agriculture on a regular basis.

Pandhi said the new five lakh per day capacity modern dairy plant would be constructed expeditiously and be commissioned within two years.

The mobile advisory services for the animal rearing farmers would be rolled out immediately and the services made available to three lakh farmers within two years in a phased manner.

The Chief Minister told the meeting that a Drought Management Cell would be set up in Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) for management and advance information regarding drought.

“Automatic weather stations and rain gauges should be installed across the state for real-time information on weather and rainfall. Satellite data should be effectively used by the Drought Management Cell to provide timely information for taking various measures for combating moisture stress,” he added.