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Odisha’s Strategic Vision for Rabi Season 2023-24, Emphasizing Sustainable Agriculture and Crop Diversification

Bhubaneswar: The State Level Conference for Rabi Campaign 2023-24 was inaugurated today at the State Convention Centre, Lok Seva Bhawan. The conference shed light on the state’s strategic goals for the upcoming Rabi season, emphasizing the importance of sustainable agriculture and the need to leverage modern techniques for enhanced productivity.

Odisha has set ambitious targets for its Rabi-2023-24 programme, aiming to cover approximately 28.14 lakh hectares under various crops. The focus areas of the programme encompass crucial aspects such as enhancing irrigation usage, promoting pulses and oilseeds crops through Rice Fallow Management, and implementing block-specific Agriculture Action Plans in Delta command areas.

Addressing the conference, Minister Agriculture & Farmers Empowerment and Fishery & ARD Ranendra Pratap Swain highlighted the significance of the Rabi Campaign, emphasizing the state’s initiatives in promoting crop diversification and integrated farming to address climate change challenges and increase farmers’ income. He stressed the urgency of optimizing available irrigation facilities to boost Rabi crop production.

Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena, acknowledging Odisha’s emergence as a major food grain exporting state, emphasized the importance of climate-smart agriculture practices, crop diversification, and increased emphasis on pulses, oilseeds, and vegetables. Development Commissioner-cum-ACS, Water Resources Department Anu Garg emphasized the state’s commitment to water conservation and efficient irrigation management, emphasizing the prudent utilization of water resources for agricultural purposes.

Principal Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment Department Dr. Arabinda Kumar Padhi highlighted the state’s successful agricultural policies, contributing to the economic development of farmers and the adoption of scientific methods in the agriculture sector. Suresh Kumar Vashishth, Principal Secretary, Department of Fisheries and ARD, emphasized the need for collaboration and convergence among stakeholders to facilitate the development of the agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, and animal resources sectors.

The state’s emphasis on assured irrigation and the successful implementation of flagship programmes such as Rice Fallow Management, NFSM-Pulses-Oilseeds, National Horticulture Mission, and various other state-run initiatives underscores Odisha’s commitment to accelerating agricultural growth and enhancing farmers’ income. With a growing emphasis on horticultural development, soil conservation, and watershed management, the state is dedicated to sustainable agricultural practices and comprehensive rural development. All district collectors have been tasked with implementing the Rabi Circular with tailored strategies appropriate to their respective agro-ecological contexts.

With a comprehensive focus on crop diversification, water resource management, and the implementation of various flagship initiatives, the conference set the tone for a proactive and collaborative approach toward ensuring the success of the Rabi programme in Odisha.

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