Krushi Odisha celebrates women's day: Women contribution in agriculture appreciated

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Krushi Odisha celebrates women's day: Women contribution in agriculture appreciated
Krushi Odisha celebrates women's day: Women contribution in agriculture appreciated

New Delhi : The fourth day of the state level agri fest Krushi Odisha aimed at leading farmers to profitability is underway on Thursday, 23rd January at Janta Maidan, Bhubaneswar. The day is being celebrated as Women’s Day with focus on the role of women in agriculture and allied sectors. Many women farmers and Women SHG members participated in the event.  

Chief Guest of the evening was Smt. Tukuni Sahoo, Hon’ble Minister, Women Child Development and Mission Shakti, Odisha. The minister highlighted the contribution of ladies in the farming sector. “Women are engaged on the fields like their male counterparts and do everything like sowing seeds, harvesting the crop, rearing cows, hatching poultry and culturing fish to become independent as well as boosting the economy” said the Hon’ble Minister Tukuni Sahoo.

"Mission Shakti has led the women of the state towards being self dependent. Over six lakh women SHGs have been formed which include more than 70 lakh women as their members. The state government is in full support of these women who in turn have proved their skills by engaging in agriculture”, said the women and child development minister.  

"Women have played an important part in the field of agriculture. Women have amply contributed to the agricultural sector in the state. Rearing chickens, keeping cows and growing vegetables have been major areas where women have shown their skills. The state government is prioritizing women in its policy decisions and it is evident that women are marching shoulder to shoulder with men in today’s times” says Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Minister Dr. Arun Kumar Sahoo.

The Agriculture Minister further stated that Krushi Odisha has given impetus to a renewed discussion on farmers and their lives and I hope farmers start using modern technology and implements after attending Krushi Odisha. 

Phillipines based agriculture expert Ms. Ranjitha Puskur of IRRI said that agriculture is not possible without the involvement of women. Women can bring a much needed change in the agriculture sector by using all modern techniques of agriculture and using farming machine and tools. The state agriculture policy ‘Samrudhi’ will give a fresh impetus to farmers in the state.

The guests on the occasion of the fourth day of Krushi Odisha included Dr. Pramod Kumar Meherda, IAS, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Commerce and Transport, Spl. Secretary, DA&FE, Sri Ananta Narayan Jena, Hon’ble MLA, Bhubaneswar (Central), Sri Iswar Chandra Panigrahi, Chairman, Odisha State Seeds Corporation Limited, Sri Debasis Mohanty, Chairman, Odisha Agro Industries Corporation Limited, Dr. Ranjitha Puskur, Research Leader, IRRI, Dr. Arun Kumar Sahoo, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development and Higher Education, Smt. Tukuni Sahoo, Hon’ble Minister, Women Child Development and Mission Shakti, Odisha, Dr. N. Thirumala Naik, IAS, Director, Fisheries, Odisha.   

‘Rice Based Cropping System Knowledge Bank’ and ‘Rice Doctor’ apps were launched today. A compendium on ‘Climate Smart Agriculture in Odisha’ was also released on the occasion.

The day consisted of two seminars and a couple of pathshalas for farmers apart from the main celebration of Women’s day. The first seminar of the day was on ‘Farm Mechanization and Technology for Effective Agriculture and Enhanced Farmer Income.’ The seminar consisted of notable speakers working in the farm mechanization and technology sector. The panel consisted of Mr. Mukul Varshney, Director, Corporate Affairs, John Deere India Private Limited, Dr. Ajay Kumar Roul, Scientist, Agricultural Mechanization Division, ICAR-CIAE, Mr. Address by Davide Gallarate, India Representative, FEDERUNACOMA, Italian Agriculture Machinery Manufacturer Federation, Italy, Mr. Manohar Sambandam, Founder Green Robot Machinery, Er. Manoj Kumar Dash, Chief Engineer (Agril.) DA&FP,Odisha. The panel was moderated by Prof. Sangram Keshri Swain, Dept. of Farm Machinery and Power, CAET, OUAT.

Er. Manoj Kumar Dash, Chief Engineer (Agril.) DA&FP, Odisha opined that in order to successful grow a crop we have to focus on a few key things. The land should be prepared well for sowing, the soil quality should be suitable to the crop being grown, the seed quality should be of high grade, good tools should be used for agriculture and the farmers need to harvest the crop on time.

The first pathshala of the day was on the topic ‘Group Farming for Profit Maximization and Value Addition.’ Dr. Amar Nayak, Prof. XIMB, Bhubaneswar and Mr. Bijayram Senapati, SMS, Training and Publicity, Odisha Forest  Sector Development Society, Bhubaneswar participated in the pathshala.  Both the speakers focused on how farmers can maximize their profit using key learnings discussed in the workshop.

The second pathshala dealt with ‘Post Harvest Management for Fetching Better Market. Here, Prof. Dr. Kalpana Rayguru, HOD, AP&FE, CAET, OUAT, and Prof. Dr. K. Khan, Dean, CAET(Retd.) were the key speakers. Prof. Khan took up the issue of cold storage and other warehousing and storing facilities in the state. He advised the farmers to go for food processing options that would earn us export revenue and minimize the loss of perishables like fruits and vegetables.  

The second seminar dealt with ‘Risk Management in Agriculture and Allied Sectors with Special Focus on Financial Assistance and Insurance.’ The guests were, Sri Ratnakar Rout, Director Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, Odisha, Mr. Sunil Dubey, Assistant Director, Mahalnobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC), Govt. of India, MSR Chandra Murty, AGM NABARD, Arun Yadav, NCDEX, Umesh Soni, Asst. Vice President, HDFC ERGO  

Sri Ratnakar Rout, Director Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, Odisha said “80 percent among the farmers in Odisha are small land holders hence small and marginal farmers. More than 26 Lakh families in the state don't have any land; they are called landless agricultural farmers. The unemployed youth should strive to become entrepreneurs and generate employment for others by venturing into Agriculture and Allied Sectors. Our aim is to double the farmers' income.” He informed that ten years ago, Odisha was a rice deficit state whereas now we produce 36 Lakh Milli Tonne of rice which we give as surplus to the national stock.

Krushi Odisha has been conceptualized by the Dept. of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment, Govt. of Odisha in collaboration with FICCI to inform, encourage, empower the farmers in the state and help them gain access to cutting edge research and technological knowhow on the agriculture industry to boost production, elevate their financial situation and increase profitability.