Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 21:
Experts and economists of Odisha are utterly surprised as to how the state was eligible for the Krishi Karman Award from the Centre for the year 2013-14 despite substantial fall in foodgrain production.
Even the state government, while going by the Odisha Economic Survey Report 2014-15, has also admitted that there is a 10 percent fall in the overall foodgrain production in 2013-14 as compared to 2012-13.
The production of major cereals has fallen by 18.12 percent, paddy by 20 percent and other cereals by about 23 percent during 2013-14.
The state had also received Krishi Karman Award for the year 2012-13.
As per the report, the foodgrain production which was 102 lakh metric tonne (which includes paddy, bajra, barley, maize, wheat and raggi) in 2012-13, has come down by 19 lakh metric tonne (83.60 lakh metric tonne) in 2013-14.
Besides, paddy production in the state in 2013-14 has come down by 19 lakh tonne (76.13 lakh tonne) as compared to 2012-13 (94.97 lakh tonne).
The report has also said the paddy production in the state per hectare, which was more than the national average with 23.61 quintals in 2012-13, has dipped to 18.21 quintals in 2013-14.
The cereal production in the state has dropped to 1.18 percent during the period.
Apart from this, there is also a slump in the production of cotton (4.34 lakh tonne in 2012-13 and 3.97 lakh tonne in 2013-14) and sugarcane (9.52 lakh tonne in 2012-13 and 9.27 lakh tonne in 2013-14).
In terms of agro production, Odisha is in the second category in the country.
The Krishi Karman Awards are given to the best performing states in two broad sets—one for total foodgrains production and the other for individual foodgrain crops of rice, wheat, pulses and coarse cereals.
There are three awards for total foodgrains production. States whose total foodgrain production exceeds 10 million tonnes are in category-I, while category-II and category-III are for states having total foodgrain production between 1-10 million tonnes and less than 1 million tonne respectively.
Considering the fact that the award is given to the states on the basis of the rise in the gross foodgrain production compared to the previous year, it is matter of surprise that though Odisha has failed to meet the criteria, it has been awarded by the Centre.