Bhubaneswar: In another step towards opening new avenues for paddy farmers of Odisha, an interactive session with different stake holders for promoting rice export from Odisha was held recently in digital mode under the chairmanship of chief secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra from State Lokseba Bhawan wherein principal advisor to chief minister and chairman Western Odisha Development Council Asit Tripathy along with senior officers from Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) of India, agricultural scientists and rice exporters participated in deliberations.
Considering the paddy production potential of Odishan agro-climatic zones, existence of huge genetic diversity of aromatic germplasm, traditional skill of the farmers, and availability of port facilities for foreign trading, chief secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra directed to “create conducive eco-system for boosting up the export of non-Basumati aromatic rice from Odisha”.
Principal advisor to chief minister Tripathy said, “Odisha as a rice surplus State has bumper availability for export. There are also rice aggregators in Odisha who can be trained and mobilized towards export oriented operations”. He advised APEPA of government of India and directorate of agriculture, Odisha to organize ground level workshops with rice aggregators, food exporters, and farmer producer organizations to infuse confidence in farming community for production of export quality paddy.
Further, chief secretary Mahapatra directed to adopt cluster approach in promotion of the non-Basumati aromatic verities of paddy cultivation. He also directed to identify the agro-climatic zones more suitable for cultivation of such varieties. Mahapatra added, “Government of Odisha is committed to enhance farmers’ income by boosting the rice export, and State will provide all possible support for the purpose”.
Mahapatra also asked the department of agriculture and farmers’ empowerment to constitute a resource team for boosting the rice export. It was also decided that the team would visit Andhra Pradesh for gaining exposure to the actual practices adopted in export of non-basumati aromatic verities. Chief secretary directed the department to frame a realistic work plan with the suggestions from technical session of the seminar, and inputs from the resource team so that those could be carried forward.
The requirements like establishment of laboratory network in Odisha, creation of a rice warehouse at Paradeep port, creation of awareness about Indian and global food practices among the farmers, extension of necessary agri-inputs and technical support to the farmers for production of the non-Basunati aromatic paddy etc were also discussed in the meeting.
Additional chief secretary and agriculture production commissioner Sanjeev Chopra, director APEDA Dr Angumuthu, principal secretary food supplies and consumer welfare Vir Vikram Yadav, director agriculture Dr Muthu Kumar, president Rice Exporters Association V.V. Rao along with senior scientists and exporters participated in the deliberations.