Bhubaneswar: Union Agriculture Minister Naremdra Singh Tomar Sunday called upon the farmers of Odisha to adopt technology in cultivation to ensure better benefit.
Mr.Tomar was addressing an agriculture conclave here along with Union Minister of State for Fishery, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Sanjeev Balyan.
“The government under the leadership of PM Shri @narendramodi is committed to increase the income of farmers. In the last 8 years, the Government has undertaken several initiatives, results of which are starting to pay off today”.
Mr.Tomar’s statement is considered significant as Odisha stands second from bottom in farmers’ income in the country, according to the survey conducted by National Statistical Office (NSO) in 2019.
The report said the monthly income of each farmer’s family in Odisha is just Rs 5,112 against Rs 4,895 of Jharkhand which is lowest among all states and Union Territories in the country.
While Meghalaya tops the list with its each farmer earning Rs 29,348 per month, Punjab stands second with Rs 26,701 and Haryana third with Rs 22,841, the survey found, This was stated by Odisha’s Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo while replaying a question in the assembly on March 30, 2022.
Union Minister expressed his concern for state farmers’ financial condition in comparison to other states. He advised Odisha farmers to adopt practices to mix technology with farming to reap better profits.
“In the farming sector, benefits don’t come overnight as it takes time to get results. The Central government has implemented several schemes and initiatives in the last eight years and they have started paying dividends now,” he said.
Union Minister said the Odisha farmers who use technology and diversify crops, are getting benefits. In Odisha, 24,000 hectares of land is dedicated to organic farming and its profits will be discernible in coming days, he said.
In a bid to further augment the farmers financial condition, Tomar said the Ministry has been taking steps for implementation of the ‘Digital Agriculture Mission’ for which several mobile applications have been developed. He said during the Modi regime, the black-marketing of urea fertilizer has ended and stress is being given on more production of edible oil seeds and pulses.
As the United Nations has declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets, Tomar said steps are being taken for millets to find a place in each plate.
MoS Fishery said that use of ethanol in petrol has meanwhile increased from just 2 per cent to 12 due to initiatives of former Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. As ethanol is produced from wheat, rice and corn, the farmers will ultimately benefit. The country will also save foreign exchange; he said adding that the country will prosper when the farmers become financially sound.
Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Trilochan Mohapatra said in Odisha, the farmers are growing paddy only. By doing this, they can’t double their earnings. They should rather switch over to crop diversification, Mohapatra said.
He said there is no scarcity of water in Odisha as the state receives ample rain. The State is also blessed with different climates. Hence, the paddy farmers can grow fish, vegetables and fruits along with cereals,” Dr.Mohapatra said while placing his opinion on raising the farmers income in Odisha.