Gurugram: In the run up to the Make in Odisha Conclave (MIO) 2018, the flagship biennial global investors’ summit organized by Government of Odisha, the Department of Cooperation of the State Government organized a Consultative Workshop on Agriculture Marketing at Gurugram today in association with industries partner Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). The workshop was attended by over 50 investors based in Delhi-NCR who expressed their interest to explore investment opportunities in Odisha’s agriculture marketing sector. These included leading names like Maersk, Bayer, Mother Dairy, Star Agri Business among others.
The workshop was a curtain raiser event for the session on Agriculture Marketing during MIO. The objective was to acquaint the participants in this sector, with the policy & regulatory environment and investment opportunities in the agriculture marketing sector in Odisha. The workshop provided a platform to all the stakeholder groups in agribusiness and allied sectors for sharing of knowledge and focused discussion with officials of Government of Odisha.
Speaking at the workshop, Shri Surjya Narayan Patra, Hon’ble Minister, Department of Cooperation said, “Odisha has already attained self-sufficiency in food production. Over the last few years, the State has experienced success in terms of crop area, production, productivity, food security, irrigation, leading to a rise in farmers’ income. The State bagged national “Krishi Karman Award” four times consecutively between 2010-11 and 2014-15. It is also the seventh largest vegetable producing state in the country.
In order to realize the goal of enhancing farmers’ income further in a sustainable manner, the Govt. of Odisha is seeking private investments across a range of areas under agriculture marketing from quality infrastructure for storage, grading, sorting, packaging and trading of agricultural produce to providing ease of trade between sellers and buyers respectively. The other focus areas include enabling hassle-free IT-based interface with Governmental setups for compliances and offering modern features such as electronic trading platforms, warehousing receipts and quality assaying facilities.”
The key reform initiatives undertaken by the Department of Cooperation, Govt. of Odisha to give a thrust to agriculture marketing in the state are outlined below.
• Enabling Environment for Agricultural Marketing in the state through supportive legislation: The Govt. of Odisha seeks to provide an enabling environment to all stakeholders under Agricultural Marketing with minimal regulation and maximum facilitation. To achieve this, a new Odisha Agricultural Produce & Livestock Marketing (Promotion & Facilitation) Act, 2018, modeled on the Govt. of India model Bill, has been framed which is in the process of approval.
• Promotion of ‘Kalinga Pure’ Brand for Agricultural Produces from Odisha:To establish the brand ‘Kalinga Pure’, which signifies the excellence of Produce, Govt. will set up assaying facilities in the Regional Marketing Committees. Steps are being taken to provide for third party assaying, which will be objective and as per stringent protocols.
• Promotion of Contract Farming: With a view to boost Contract Farming further, Govt. of Odisha proposes to come up with a new Odisha Agricultural Produce & Livestock Contract Farming and Services (Promotion & Facilitation) Act, 2018. This is modeled on the Govt. of India model Bill and incorporates provisions to promote Contract Farming in Odisha.
• Promotion and Development of Warehousing & Promotion of Warehousing Receipts System: A full-fledged Warehousing Act, which will lay down licensing conditions for the Warehouses, as well as promote Warehousing Receipts System is in the process of approval.
• Attracting private investment in Marketing Infrastructure and exploring models of setting up and operation of markets/facilities in PPP mode: The state seeks private sector investment in the development of new marketing infrastructure such as market yards, warehouses, cold storages and facilities for grading, sorting and packaging. Besides, there are major wholesale markets planned for major cities such as Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, for which the Government would like to explore PPP models for creation and operation of such markets.
• Marketing linkages for Agricultural Produce, especially produce from Tribal Areas:The Odisha Agricultural Marketing Board and the Cooperation Department seek to establish tie-ups between farmers/farmer organisations and bulk procurers such as wholesalers/retailers/processors to enable marketing of produce such as vegetables, fruits and non-timber forest produce from the tribal areas at remunerative prices.