Odisha eyes big pie in

Bhubaneswar: Despite rice production of the state stands at 1.64 tonne/ha against the national average of 2.10 tonnes/ha, Odisha is eyeing a big share in the ‘green revolution’ package announced by the Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram in General Budget 2013-14 on Thursday.

An allocation of Rs. 1000 crore has been proposed in the budget to continue support to the new green revolution in eastern states like Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal to increase the rice production.

Besides, an outlay of Rs. 500 crore is proposed for starting a programme of crop diversification that would promote technological innovation and encourage farmers to choose crop alternatives in the original green revolution States as these States are facing the problem of stagnating yields and over-exploitation of water resources.

Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana which is intended to moblilise higher investment in agriculture sector has been allocated an outlay of Rs. 9954 crore while Rs. 2250 crore have been proposed for the National Food Security Mission to bridge yield gaps.

Odisha which has about 73 per cent of its work force engaged in the agriculture sector, contributes about a tenth of India's total rice production.

According to officials, the state produced a total of 27.89 lakh metric tonnes of rice in the current year, against 17.47 lakh metric tonnes last year.

Rice is grown in about 42.26 lakh ha in Odihsa. During Kharif season the area covered under rice is about 39.33 lakh ha whereas the coverage in Rabi is 2.93 lakh ha.