Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 19:
The Odisha government has decided to set up 150 new cold storages with a cumulative capacity of 7,47,280 metric tonnes under PPP mode by 2019.
This was decided at the annual review meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries and Animal Resources Department (F & ARD), presided over by chief minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat here today.
The chief minister informed the officials of the Agriculture department that he would review the progress made in this regard every two months.
The meeting decided to increase farm output of nine lakh tonnes of vegetables from 5000 hectares of land every year using advanced methods of cultivation.
It was revealed that for timely supply of seeds to the farmers, the state government has appointed dealers in 4346 gram panchayats while efforts are on to appoint dealers in the remaining gram panchayats for sale of seeds, fertiliser and pesticides.
Keeping the conservation of post-harvested paddy in view, the chief minister asked the Agriculture secretary to complete the construction of concrete paddy drying yard for every 5000 population by 2017 in coordination with the secretaries of Cooperation, Revenue and Panchayati Raj departments.
He asked the Agriculture secretary to fill up 1017 vacant posts of Agricultural Technical Extension officers by the end of this year.
The chief minister also directed the department to ensure direct credit of subsidy amount and financial assistance to the account of the farmers.
Stating that about 55 lakh farmers’ families have been registered under Biju Krushak Kalayn Yojana (BKKY) till date, he asked the department to include the remaining families by August this year.
Patnaik also advised the department to implement a scheme for supply of water to the farmers in the drought prone areas in coordination with the Water Resources department, encourage domestic investment in agriculture sector, and procurement and supply of quality seeds and agricultural implements to the farmers.
Officials of the Agriculture department apprised the chief minister of the steps taken to tackle the possible drought situation this year as predicted by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
While reviewing the performance of the F&ARD, the chief minister asked the department to formulate a plan to double fish production in the state from 4 lakh metric tonnes to 8 lakh metric tonnes by 2019.
He also asked the department to convert the kutcha houses of traditional fishermen into pucca houses in phases in coordination with the Panchayati Raj department. Besides, to meet the target of a livestock centre in each gram panchayat, he directed the department to expedite the process to fill up vacant posts of Livestock Inspectors.
The chief minister also asked the department to prepare a comprehensive fishery policy within a month and submit it to the State Cabinet.
The meeting was informed that the F&ARD department had extended the mobile veterinary unit service to all blocks and remote areas of the state for the treatment of livestock.