Agriculture sector in Orissa in deep trouble, poor growth hitting farmers
BHUBANESHWAR: The state has failed to develop the agriculture sector, although it offers employment to 60% of the workforce, in a similar manner like other Indian states such as Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. This despite of the state’s economy being mainly dependent on agriculture to push growth.
Considered as the ninth largest state in the country with nearly 156 lakh hectares of farm land, it has the land area under cultivation sat about 62 lakh hectares. Analysts have said that merely 34% of the agriculture land is irrigated which is a major reason for low productivity. Hence, the state government needs to take more steps for developing proactive policies to bring improvement in the conditions of farmers.
While talking to SME News about the condition of agriculture in Orissa, Sarvadaman Patel, president of Organic Farming Association of India, said, “Primarily, Orissa is a rice growing state and it comprises of marginalised small farmers. So, the state needs attention of the administration so that the productivity levels can go up.”
This is also one of the major reasons why the farming community here is living below the poverty line. The state is in dire need of a mass movement to enhance farming.
There are quite a few problems which are plaguing the agricultural sector. These include poor paddy sale, problems in getting crop insurance, illogical farm land distribution along with the transfer of agricultural land to industrial houses. The state government needs to focus on organic farming to boost the productivity and also to improve the financial conditions of farmers.
Patel also said, “Organic farming enjoys strong potential to improve the poor conditions of agriculture in the state, provided government offers subsidy in a similar way it is offered to the fertiliser companies. Organic farming can also lower global warming to a large extent.”
The state government needs to create farmer-friendly policies and programmes to make farming profitable for the cultivators.