Cuttack, Sep 22:
In a bid to accord an entrepreneurial status to rice farming in Odisha, Central Rice Research Institute here has come up with an innovative unit to look into the aspects of business, planning and development of rice growers.
The unit called Business Planning and Development (BPD) unit was lunched here on Saturday. Agricultural land under rice cultivation is decreasing, farmers are turning away from rice cultivation as it is not profitable. But rice is staple food for over 65 per cent people of our country.
Launching the unit, director of New Delhi-based National Agricultural Innovative Project (NAIP) Dr Rama Rao said the BPD unit will go a long way in attracting rice farmers towards entrepreneurship.
Speaking on the occasion, CRRI director Dr T Mohapatra said BPD unit is a World Bank funded project.
While rice is the staple food of nearly 65 per cent of country’s population, rice farmers end up as losers getting a meager price for their produce.
“The current Minimum Support Price (MSP) of rice is only Rs 1320 per quintal which is not encouraging,” project inspector Dr G A K Kumar said.
If such trends are not arrested, the ambitious food security bill will come as a cropper, opined the speakers on this occasion.
BPD also aims to impart training in setting up agri-enterprises and their management. This unit will also look into production, finance, personnel and marketing aspects to evolve successful agri-preneurs.
“Once unit is registered as a Company, it will provide legal assistances to agri-preneurs,” Dr Kumar said.
With a view to popularize its inventions of farm techniques, CRRI also organized a brain-storming discussion on this occasion.(PTI)