Bhubaneswar, August 14 (LocalWire): With farmers of the state heavily dependent on weather and climatic condition for farming, the state government has underscored the need for more effective climate-resilient strategies for improved agriculture production.
“During the last five years, variability in production (mainly of paddy) points to the need for more effective climate resilient strategies.
While the importance of paddy to the farmers in the state cannot be overlooked, the productivity of large areas under paddy cultivation is low, resulting in very low returns to the farmers,” a recently released agriculture draft policy report of the state government stated.
The report further mentions that some districts cultivate paddy during the rabi season as well depending on the availability of irrigation, but reported low productivity, implying sub-optimal benefits from irrigation.
The draft report found among other things the growing gap between Odisha’s demand (consumption basket) and supply (production basket) chain and low fertiliser use in the farming operation.
“The state’s economy is growing fast and, as is the trend elsewhere, the consumption basket is changing. Consumers are increasingly demanding more pulses, vegetables, dairy, eggs, and meat. This should ideally drive the state’s production basket. However, most of the eggs, pulses, and meat that are consumed by the state are imported from neighbouring states,” the draft report said.
Odisha’s per-hectare-land fertiliser consumption is amongst the lowest in the country at 56.8 kg compared to an all-India average of 123 kg. While a site and crop-specific nutrient demand may indicate a different ratio, the overall application of fertiliser including organic manure is abysmally low
The report further noted that while Odisha is a low-cost producer of most crops, the value realised by farmers from farming activities is also low due to market problems of aggregation, accessibility, and adequacy.
“The rise in labour cost has led to a sharp rise in the cost of production. With slower growth in the market value of produce, Odisha farmer’s profitability in most crops has been shrinking,” the report stated.