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Pradeep Pattanayak

In terms of farmers’ monthly income, Odisha is in the second position from the bottom in the list, with its farmer earning only Rs5,112 a month.  

While replying to a question raised by Koraput MP (Congress) Saptagiri Ulaka, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday informed this in the Parliament as the winter session is underway. 

MP Ulaka holds the 22-year-old Naveen Patnaik-led government responsible for this. “If the Odisha farmers earn less, it is due to the failure of the Naveen Patnaik government. In 22 years of power, the government hasn’t commenced a single irrigation project. 

The farmers of Odisha are facing many a problem despite scores of schemes and yojanas. The farmers are hardly getting any benefits from these yojanas and it can be ascribed to bureaucratic red tape. If the Chief Minister feels he is not able to improve the farmers’ financial condition, he should form a committee with involving all the parties and the experts and act according to their recommendations,” Ulaka said. 

A farmer, Benudhara Shah alleged there is no dearth of schemes and yojanas but the farmers hardly get any benefits of them.  
Similarly, Saroj, a farmers’ leader said the government is lagging behind in improving agricultural infrastructure, irrigation facilities and creating proper marketing facilities.  

In the Parliament, this Union Minister said the farmers’ monthly income has been ascertained by taking their earnings between July 2018 and June 2019 into consideration. 

Informing the House regarding the income of farmers of other states, the Minister further said Jharkhand is at the bottom. A farmer there earns Rs 4,495 a month. 

The financial condition of farmers of Bihar is a little better than that of Odisha farmers. The monthly income of a farmer of Bihar is Rs7,542 and the state is placed in the third position, the Minister informed. 

Meghalaya is at the top of the list with its farmers’ monthly income being Rs 29,348. The monthly earnings of farmers of Punjab and Haryana are Rs 26,701 and 22,841 respectively.

The standing committee of the Odisha Legislative Assembly had expressed its displeasure over the government’s paddy procurement rule and problems at paddy procurement centers. “The government has been asked to create a proper market for the farmers’ produces, streamline the token system and fix a target,” maintained senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra.

BJP leader Manmohan Samal observed that the government should ensure that the farmers get actual value for their produces. They should not be harassed. 

In this regard, BJD MLA Mahidhar Rana had something different to say. “Farmers are growing paddy using modern technology. As a result, they are harvesting over 40 quintals of paddy from an acre of land. Where he will sell the surplus paddy?” he questioned. 

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