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Rs 200 Crore COVID-19 Package Announced for Odisha Farmers; More Good News Inside

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
Saumy Deepak Tripathi

The Odisha government has announced to produce almost 96 lakh metric tonnes of food production in the upcoming Kharif season with special focus on diversification of crops amid the COVID-1 pandemic. Crops like pulses, oilseeds which fetch better prices will be promoted according to Sourabh Garg, secretary, agriculture, and farmers’ empowerment department.

A special Rs.200 crore package was also announced by the government for farmers who are affected by the pandemic. The scheme is designed to cover at least 25 lakh farmers and help them in agricultural and horticultural activities. Furthermore, a plan to develop 1,03,000 ponds is also being developed to employ the rural workforce. This comes at a time when many of the migrant labourers are coming back and in many states, there is a fear that the rural economy is insufficient to support this large chunk of the population. The state also hopes to provide insurance to over 30 lakh farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.

The state also expects to see a rise in loans as compared to the last Kharif season due to losses incurred by the farmers due to lockdown. Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare and Cooperation Department Secretary, Vir Vikram Yadav said” Credit to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore will be disbursed to farmers through cooperative institutions during the Kharif season compared to Rs 7,500 crore provided last year,"

These measures are also an indication of the GDP data in which Agriculture showed a remarkable growth of 5.9 % when all the other major sectors performed poorly and the government hopes that agriculture may help them to blunt the impact of coronavirus on the economy. Other external factors will help the farmers like the end of The Malaysia India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement(MICECA) which will now allow India to be more self-reliant in oilseeds production and we can expect many states to pin their hopes on Agriculture to help their finances.

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