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PTI

The Odisha government is aiming at boosting exports of non-Basmati aromatic rice to open new avenues of income for paddy farmers, an official release said on Monday.

The government is focusing on exports due to the paddy production potential of the state's agro-climatic zones, existence of huge genetic diversity of aromatic rice germplasm, traditional skill of farmers and availability of port facilities, the release said.

Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra held a virtual session recently with the stakeholders on the subject.

"As a rice-surplus state, Odisha has availability for exports," Asit Tripathy, principal adviser to the chief minister, said.

There are also rice aggregators in Odisha who can be trained and mobilised for export-oriented operations, Tripathy added.

Ground-level workshops should be held with rice aggregators, food exporters and farmer-producer organisations to infuse confidence in the community for production of export-quality paddy, Tripathy said.

Cluster approach should be adopted in the promotion of cultivation of non-Basmati aromatic varieties of paddy. Agro-climatic zones, which are more suitable for cultivation of such varieties, should be identified, he said.

"The Odisha government is committed to enhance farmers' income by boosting exports of non-Basmati aromatic rice and the state will provide all possible support for the purpose," Mohapatra said.

He asked the Agriculture Department to constitute a resource team which will visit Andhra Pradesh for gaining exposure of the methods adopted for exporting non-Basmati aromatic varieties.

There were also discussions on requirements such as laboratory network in Odisha, rice warehouse at Paradip port, and awareness about Indian and global food practices among the farmers.

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