Farmers, Policymakers and Academics discuss Green Recovery Strategies for Promoting Odisha’s Economy at Workshop

Bhubaneswar: A two-day workshop of stakeholders titled, “Opportunity and Challenges for a Green Economic Recovery for Odisha” was organised for exploring the role of collaborative stakeholder platform at the Centre for Youth and Social Development (CYSD), Bhubaneswar. The workshop facilitated by LEAD at Krea University was a joint
effort wherein farmers, SHG partners, administrators, and academics from different districts and different universities of the state tried to identify green recovery strategies and deliberated upon associated risks and their potential impacts on Odisha’s Economy.

The workshop started on 21st April with a special address by Shri Natabar Sarangi, renowned organic farmer and green activist, and on 22nd April, Dr. Arun Kumar Sahoo, Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment, Fisheries & Animal Resources Development graced the occasion. Addressing the participants, Dr. Arun Kumar
Sahoo stressed that in the supply chain of agricultural products, farmers and consumers are always at the receiving end, as compared to corporates. Dr. Sahoo called upon the academicians and research scholars of the state to come forward and provide intellectual support to farmers and community level workers so that a framework of development can be created which is more sustainable and beneficial to all stakeholders.

The workshop ended with a panel discussion on “Challenges for a Sustainable Economic Development Framework in Agriculture” featuring senior experts and policymakers, including Shri Tejeswar Parida, former chairman Odisha Khadi & Village Industries Board and founder of Centre for Policy, Governance & Advocacy (CPGA); and Shri Suresh Panigrahi, State Secretary, All India Kisan Sabha CPIM.

The key objectives of this workshop were (1) to create an avenue for interaction among stakeholders on barriers and opportunities for enabling a Green Recovery (GR) in the agriculture and MSME sectors. (2) To consolidate stakeholder insights on the risk and returns of financing green recovery efforts in the agriculture and MSME sectors in Odisha and suggest a framework that categorises GR strategies based on impact, financial requirements and scalability and (3) To map policy tools and policy nodes through which the shortlisted GR strategies can be implemented.

Among others, Dr. Kalyan Goswami, Director General, Agro Chemical Federation of India; Sharon Buteau, Executive Director of LEAD at Krea University; and Dr. Debdulal Thakur, Senior Research Fellow, LEAD at Krea University addressed the sessions and facilitated the process of consultation. Many farmers from the districts of Koraput, Kalahandi, Bargarh, Kendrapada, Bhadrak and Khurda participated in the process and academicians/economists/research scholars from Utkal University, Berhampur University, Ravenshaw University and Central University of Koraput joined hands with farmers and farm business managers in deliberating on possible green strategies for the state’s development.

Dr. Siba Sankar Mohanty, from the Department of Analytical and Applied Economics, Utkal University presented the key discussion points and Akshay Mahadevan, Senior Research Associate at LEAD and Debasis Panda, Research Associate delivered the concluding remarks. Associate Director at LEAD, Preethi Rao, delivered a formal vote of thanks.

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