“Self-confidence paves the way to become Self-Reliant” Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

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Odia Samaj, New Delhi organises webinar on “Odisha Ra Krushi O Atmanirvarata”

New Delhi: Odia Samaj, New Delhi, a leading not-for-profit, socio-cultural organisation and an effective & neutral think tank today organised a webinar on the topic “Odisha Ra Krushi O Atmanirvarata” on an online platform through video conferencing.

The webinar was graced by Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel, Govt. of India as the Chief Guest of the occasion and Shri Sidhartha Pradhan, IRS (Retd.) President,Odia Samaj. The distinguished panel of speakers included- Dr. S. K. Pattanayak, IAS (Retd.), Director General Administrative Staff College of India; Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary & DG, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi; Dr. Saurabh Garg, IAS, Principal Secretary, Dept. of Agriculture & Farmers Empowerment, Govt. of Odisha; Shri Prashant Kumar Swain, Joint Secretary, Dept. of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Govt. of India; Shri Sanjeev Kumar Chadha, IFS, Managing Director, NAFED (National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation of India Ltd.). Over 550 agro-entrepreneurs, agriculturalists, representatives from various agro industries, intellectuals, and students participated in the webinar.

The evening began with a presentation on Odia Samaj, New Delhi. It showcased various cultural and social programmes carried out by the organization till date. Shri Pradipta K Sahoo, Business Head-Safal and Member, Odia Samaj anchored the webinar and welcomed the audience, guests and speakers. Being the Moderator of the session he started the panel discussion and said, agriculture, food and happiness are very closely related to each other. Agriculture plays a vital role as part of the dream vision to make India Atmanirbhar.

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel, Govt. of India, while addressing the session said that, with the enactment of New Farm Acts and liberalization of policies, now farmers are going to enjoy more freedom in production, storage and marketing of their products. He said, all policy makers, social organizations, banking institutions and intellectuals should come forward and join hands to create an eco-system in Odisha with the aim to make at least 1 lakh youth self-reliant in agriculture sector. Adding to this Shri Pradhan said, very soon the Government of India is going to give all statutory clearance for production of ethanol from sugarcane, rice and corn. The minister also put emphasis on generation of energy from biomass, industrial and household waste and production of bio-diesel from forest produce. With this, we would be able to save Rs. 1,00,000 crores from energy imports.

Dr. S K Pattanayak, IAS (Retd.), Director General, Administrative Staff College of India highlighted various aspects of the new farm Act i.e. APMC Reforms Act, Contract Farming Act and Essential Commodities Act enacted by the Government recently and pointed out how farmers in Odisha will be benefitted by these enactments. Adding to this he said, if farmers in India will take benefits from the new agricultural policies religiously, it will help in making India the “Food Basket of the World” in next five years. He also discussed about the way forward with action points in this regard.

Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary & DG, ICAR gave his viewpoints on various pre-harvest interventions required for enhancing farm productivity, diversification of agri-allied mix, agri production clusters, and deployment of technology in agricultural sector. Dr. Mohapatra laid emphasis on farmers in Odisha following good agricultural practices and integrated farming techniques that will help them in enhancing productivity. He also gave information about research, skill based education and extension programmes available for students and research fellows in the field of agriculture and other allied sectors and proposed to introduce more diploma courses in agriculture and allied sectors which will produce more agro-entrepreneurs.

Dr. Saurabh Garg, IAS, Principal Secretary, Dept. of Agriculture & Farmers Empowerment, Govt. of Odisha gave an insightful presentation on Agriculture roadmap in Odisha and briefed about the current scenario of Odisha’s agriculture and allied sectors. He also spoke about ease of living in Agri and role of 3 Ps i.e. Price, Prestige and Pension for farmers & action plan for agri and allied sectors for achieving Atmanirbharata or self-reliance in Agriculture in Odisha. Dr. Garg said, as part of One District One Product programme, Odisha aims to encourage various indigenous agro and allied sector products in horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries etc. in all the 30 districts of Odisha.

Shri Sanjeev Kumar Chadha, IFS, MD-NAFED spoke about various post harvest interventions including procurement, logistic facilities, warehousing and storage facilities available for the farmers, standardisation and grading of agro products, various value addition methods and export facilities provided by the government and NAFED for agriculturalists. Adding to this he said, NAFED has planned to open 500 retail outlets throughout the country, where the farmers would be able to sell their products directly. He also spoke about the role of FPO citing a real life example.

Shri Prashant Kumar Swain, Joint Secretary, Dept. of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Govt. of India briefed about various post harvest interventions with a focus on FPPs and Cluster Based Business Organizations (CBBOs). He also emphasized upon the importance of e-NAM, a pan-India electronic trading portal which networks the existing APMC mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities and described how the application will help the farmers in Odisha to double their income by 2022 and in making agriculture a sustainable enterprise. Adding to this he said, from agriculture point of view Odisha has a bright future. In order to accelerate per capita income of the country, we need to move ahead in farming sector.

Concluding the session, Shri Sidhartha Pradhan, President, Odia Samaj thanked the esteemed guests for their valuable insights. Speaking on the subject of today’s webinar he said, attaining self reliance in the agriculture sector will play a crucial role in making Atmanirbhar Bharat a reality.

The Webinar was also broadcast live on Odia Samaj, New Delhi facebook page www.facebook.com/NewDelhiOdiaSamaj.

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