Indian food processing sector has enormous potential: Governor

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Bhubaneswar:  Science, technologies and innovations become more important as the population rises, with less land available to produce food and declining levels of water. The focus must therefore be on how to produce more food, with less land and water, while conserving the environment, said Governor Dr SC Jamir.

Inaugurating “Agro-Vation” organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce at Janata Maidan here today, he said the backbone of any agricultural revolution is access of farmers to modern agricultural inputs like knowledge and technology.

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“The impact of the agricultural transformation agenda has been huge for Odisha. Odisha has earned laurels at the national level by bagging the fourth ‘Krishi Karmana Award’ in 5 years for record food grain production and recently it is conferred with the 9th Global Agriculture Leadership Award-2016 given by Indian Council of Food and Agriculture in the category of Best Agriculture State-2016, he added.

Congratulating the department as well as hard working farmers of the state, the Governor said the success was possible for successfully launching large number of pro-farmer programmes to revitalize agriculture in the state leading to higher growth rate, improved farm income and accelerated pace of overall agriculture development and bringing rural prosperity.

Stressing upon food processing sector, Jamir said increased literacy rate, change in life style and mass media promotion are among the major contributors to the growing demands of processed food in the country. Increasing preference of urban consumers for processed food should be kept in mind.

Stating that the Indian food processing sector has enormous potential in terms of production, consumption, export and growth prospects, he said the Centre has made the commercialization of the country’s food processing sector the first priority with various fiscal incentives. He urged the companies willing to invest in food processing and packaging sector to come forward and be a part of growth process as the sector is growing 15%-10% annually.

“Modernization and digitization of agriculture sector will harness toward transformation. A large number of technologies are available now. These are required to be transferred to farmers’ field”, Jamir said. He called upon to provide the farmers access to the latest innovations and technologies.

In his address, Principal Secretary, MSME, LN Gupta highlighted the efforts of the state government to harness the potential of the sector.

Principal Secretary, Agriculture & Farmers Empowerment, Manoj Ahuja  focused on the initiatives taken by the government for the growth of agriculture sector.

Among others, Rupak Barua, summit chairman, Indian Chambers of Commerce, Prof Surendranath Pasupalak, Vice-Chancellor, Odisha University of Agriculture & Technology (OUAT), Prof Swapan Kumar Dutta and Pro-Vice Chancellor, Viswa Bharati University, also spoke.

The Governor inaugurated an exhibition organised on the occasion.

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