Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 30:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today assured to make special budgetary allocation for Pani Panchayat starting financial year 2016-17. Patnaik said so while addressing the concluding ceremony of the Pani Panchayat fortnight at the Odisha University of Agriculture Technology (OUAT) in Bhubaneswar today.
“For the development of agriculture and irrigation, the State Government has increased the budget allocation to Rs 1000 crore and Rs 500 crore for Water Resources and Agriculture Departments respectively. It is a very important programme for empowerment of our farmers. It has been working successfully. We will further strengthen it through expansion of activity and capacity building of our farmers,” he said.
Speaking about the Pani Panchayat programme, he further added that ever since its implementation back in 2002, it has changed the entire scope and scale of water management in the state.
“The scheme has not only played an important role in the empowerment of farmers, productivity had also increased substantially due to crop diversification as the farmers have been able to grow diverse crops due to availability of water round the clock,” he added.
Emphasizing his government’s steps for upliftment of farmers of the state, Patnaik said that his government had made special budget provision for the development of the agriculture sector and implemented a number of schemes for the welfare of the farmers.
Besides, the Chief Minister informed the audience that for better management, the State Government has handed over the management of minor irrigation systems to the farmers and urged the farmers to work towards making agriculture a profitable profession.