Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday stressed upon linking the farmers directly to the market and said there is a need to remove intermediaries to improve the income of farmers.
Inaugurating the Odisha Agri Conclave 2021 on a virtual platform, Patnaik said: "Our emphasis is to enhance the income of farmers. So we must respond to the dynamics of the market. We need to streamline their connectivity to the aggregators and processors to play the role of producers. We need to remove intermediaries who don't add value to the supply chain."
Saying that the state has a conducive policy environment, he said Odisha aspires to become the investment destination of choice by continuously creating and delivering outstanding opportunities for business growth, fostering all-round socio-economic development for the state and its people.
Agri and allied sectors of the state are now open to national and global players, the Chief Minister said.
"The farmers lay the foundation of the nation's economy. It is on this foundation, we build the pillars of a vibrant economy," he said.
Development of agriculture and empowerment of farmers is his priority and the farmer-focused approach backed by various schemes and programmes have started to yield results, he stated.
"There is a considerable evidence of local surplus of agriculture and horticulture produce. We can work with agri players to work in tandem so that appropriate pre-harvest and post-harvest protocols are followed by the farming community," he advised.
Citing challenges of frequent natural calamities including droughts, cyclones and floods, Patnaik further said that his government has worked out all possible measures to ensure uninterrupted growth of agriculture and economy of the state. It is now evident that agri-sector is a silver lining in the current Covid-19 pandemic situation, he added.
Describing Odisha's success, the Chief Minister said the state has attained self-sufficiency in food production, and Odisha is now the third largest contributor to nation public distribution system (PDS).
Speaking on the state's policy framework for various sectors, he said that Odisha has introduced a separate agriculture budget and has a robust agriculture policy Samrudhi-2020.
Besides, the state has several other policies including MSME Development Policy, Food Processing Policy, Start-Up Policy and Agriculture Entrepreneurship Promotion Scheme to augment overall development of agriculture and agribusiness through integration and value addition, he added.