By Odisha Story Bureau, Bhubaneswar:
Odisha bags 9th Global Agriculture Leadership Award 2016 at the National Level gathering of important stake-holders in agriculture development at the Agriculture Leadership Summit at Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi on yesterday evening. Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA) have awarded our State in the category of Best Agriculture State-2016 in recognition of the efforts towards development of agriculture and bringing rural prosperity. Shri Pradeep Maharathy, Minister, Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment, Fisheries & Animal Resources Development received this prestigious Award from Prof. K.S Solanki, Hon’ble Governor of Haryana and H.E. Sh. Ram Naik, Hon’ble Governor of Uttar Pradesh. Shri Manoj Ahuja, Principal Secretary, Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment and Dr. Pramod Kumar Meherda, Commissioner-cum-Director, Agriculture were also present.
The National Awards Committee has recognized the sustained policy initiatives by the Government of Odisha with pro-farmer programmes that have been instrumental in agricultural development which is evident from the State recording 22.7% growth in foodgrains production from 96.36 lakh MTs in 2013-14 to 118.24 lakh MTs during 2014-15. Similar has been the achievement of the State in increasing the productivity of foodgrains. Seed Replacement Rate (SRR) in paddy, which is one of the key contributors to higher production and productivity along with technology inputs, has increased to a record high of 35.57% during 2015-16. For such remarkable achievement in food grain sector, the State has bagged the prestigious Krishi Karman Award four times in the last five years.
The State which has brought out a progressive Agriculture Policy in 2013 has also been the pioneer in giving the status of industry to agriculture sector. Odisha has also leapfrogged in farm mechanization sector wherein enhanced assistance to the tune of 75% of the cost of farm machineries has lead to increase in farm power input from just 0.85 KW/ha. in 2008 to 1.55 KW/ha. in 2015-16. The Agriculture Policy has also lead to establishment of 3200 Commercial Agri Enterprises including Agro Service Centres, Broillers, Poultry, etc. in the last 5 years. The State is on a path of implementing further progressive programmes to give greater boost to the agriculture sector. ICFA in recognition of the efforts have awarded the State in the category of Best Agriculture State for the year 2016.
Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA) has instituted Agriculture Leadership Awards since the year 2008 in recognizing excellence and leadership roles played by individuals and organizations towards development of Indian agriculture and bringing rural prosperity. These Awards are given annually to the individuals and organizations for significant contributions in agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry and overall agriculture development affecting the lives of millions of farmers.
The National Awards Committee of ICFA headed by Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, the Pioneer of India’s Green Revolution have decided to confer the Best Agriculture State Award for 2015 to the Government of Odisha for successfully launching large number of progammes to revitalize agriculture in the State leading to higher growth rate, improved farm income and accelerated pace of overall agriculture development.
The Best Agriculture State Awards were earlier given to the State of Maharastra in 2010, to Karnataka in 2011, to Madhya Pradesh in 2012, to Tamil Nadu in 2013, to Gujurat in 2014 and to Chhatishgarh in 2015.