Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 3:
The Agriculture Cabinet Committee of the Odisha government today in its first meeting directed the departments of Planning & Convergence, Finance and Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment to enhance outlay of the Agriculture Budget.
The departments have also been directed to bring about convergence in their activities, programmes and schemes.
Describing constitution of Agriculture Cabinet Committee as a historic step to fast track policy and decision making process for agriculture and allied sectors, briefing reporters after the meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said: “The objective is to bring about greater focus on agriculture and allied activities to bring about convergence between the related departments in order to bring about a substantial improvement in farm household incomes.”
“We have also changed the name of the Agriculture department recently to the department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment in keeping with the objectives of the farmer oriented policies of the government,” Patnaik stated.
Hinting on the shape of Agriculture Budget to be presented this year, Patnaik said the focus area of the Agriculture Budget will be to increase the area under irrigation and reduce the gap between the irrigation potential available in the state and the actual area brought under irrigation so far.
The Chief Minister said the Budget will also focus on reducing farmers’ vulnerabilities to natural calamities, provision of credit and agriculture inputs in time, improving agriculture production and productivity by laying emphasis on modern farm technologies and development of fisheries and animal husbandry sector.
Emphasis will also be given on marketing of agriculture produce and creation of storage and warehousing facilities for better post-harvest management of agriculture produce Patnaik said while adding that his government is committed to ensure that farm household incomes are substantially enhanced through these initiatives.