Odisha to focus more on agri business

Bhubaneswar: Odisha has to transition itself from agriculture to Agri Business. State government will focus more on Agri Business and then on Agri processing, said a top government official.

Inaugurating the two days TOP Expo & Summit here, organized by Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in association with State Department of Agriculture & Farmer’s Empowerment, Agriculture Production commissioner Gagan Kumar Dhal said, “Our farmers are very good on adopting new technologies and other things. But now we have to move on from agriculture to Agri Business. It requires lots of knowledge, from market knowledge to accounting and expenditure knowledge and so on.”

He said Odisha produces 3 lakh metric tonne of onion every year. Major onion production belt is Bolangir and Nuapada. Maharastra kind of bamboo stick based storage facility will be set up there.

“Similarly, with sizeable contribution from Keonjhar, Sundergarh and Sambalpur, State produces 13-14 lakh metric tonne of Tomato. While the requirement of the state is only 3 lakh tonne, there is huge scope for tomato processing. But the major problem is the traditional quality,” Dhal said adding, “25 years back we had set up a Tomato processing unit at investment of Rs 8 crore at Keonjhar disctrict. That is now defunct. Major problem of failure of this unit is non availability of processing quality tomato. We have to focus more on to produce processing quality tomato in the state than traditional quality.”

The APC further said that Odisha produces 3 lakh ton of Potato every year, though our requirement in much more. Due to potato mission of state government 15,000 more hectare of land added to potato cultivation during last 3-4 years. Potato requires modern kind of cold storage facility.

“We invite investors to set up cold storage in Odisha and avail good amount of subsidy,” Dhal added.

Performance of Koraput in Cabbage and Cauliflower cultivation is very good and Odisha produces 10-11 tonne of Mango every year.

“Dhenkanal is the main cluster for mango. Balasore, Dhenkanal and some part of Cuttack’s contribution for potato cultivation is also very good,” he added.

Principal Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment Department Dr. Saurabh Garg said that Odisha produces onion only in Ravi season.

“We have to focus on how to increase onion production at Kharif season also,” he said.

Union Joint Secretary, Food Processing Department Reema Prakash said the Union Government talks about Green Mission.

India is second largest producer of fruits and vegetable of the world and second largest producer of tomato and potato while china is the largest producer,” she said and added,  “During last few years Potato prices are doubled, tomato prices tripled and onion prices are quadrupled.”

Chairman of IDCO Sanjay Singh spoke about the food processing opportunities and Dr. B K Upadhaya, Director of Horticulture, provided valuable data about horticulture scenario of the State.

Chairman ICC MC Thomas State council delivered the welcome address.

B2B meeting also organized among investors.

Two days Expo-cum-Summit will include Technical Sessions, Panel discussions and Farmers’ Session.

The programme will be participated by Senior Government official from State & Central Government, agricultural scientists, agricultural engineers, plant breeders, researchers, Farmers, Farmers Producing Organizations Cooperatives, Agri-startups, Agribusiness companies, Food Processors, Exporters and other stakeholders. S

ubsequently, TOP Scheme will promote processing of Tomato, Onion and Potato and boost the supplies of these vegetables.

This Operation Green will enable government to control the prices of tomato, onion and potato even in the period of scarcity / lean period.

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