Despite being prone to severe weather conditions, Odisha has produced 13.606 million tonnes of food-grains in 2022-23 – highest ever annual production for the State, through scientific interventions and effective extension programmes.
“The food-grains production of Odisha for 2022-23 is estimated to be 13.606 million tonnes which is a record. We are grateful to all the farmers, extension workers, Scientists, and stakeholders for the incredible results. We re-commit to toil for the tillers,” Arabinda Kumar Padhee, Secretary of Odisha’s Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment.
In the past, the State had only once surpassed 13 million tonne- mark in food-grains production which was in 2020-21. The previous other two best figures were 11.688 million tonnes and 11.682 in 2019-20 and 2016-17 respectively.
Production of rice, wheat, maize, ragi, jawar, bajra and other millets and pulses such as greengram, blackgram, horsegram, arhar, bengal gram, field pea and lentil were estimated to arrive at the production figure.
The agriculture department attributed the record production in 2022-23 to well distributed rainfall, timely supply of agricultural inputs like seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and credit, livelihood support assistance through flagship scheme like ‘KALIA’ and dissemination of scientific crop management practices through conventional and digital extension.
The feat assumes huge significance as the crop area in the State has remained more or less same over the years. However, because of effective implementation of schemes like crop diversification programmes like Odisha Millet Mission, the area under non-paddy crops has increased while that of paddy has declined.
The planned crop programme is monitored on a weekly basis through meetings of Crop Weather Watch Group, field visits by district nodal officers and finally video conferences with the districts and blocks. It helps authorities decide as to when intervention is required in case of adverse weather conditions. The mechanism has been created as the State is frequently hit by cyclone, flood and drought.
Moreover, the advance crop planning is made at the district level involving officials of allied departments like water resources, co-operation, fertilizer manufacturers, seed supply agencies, bankers and scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendras considering agro-climatic zone in which the district is located.
According to the department, climate resilient cultivation practices and non-paddy crops requiring less water were given priority, better water management practices especially use of water saving devices like sprinklers and drip system received priority among farmers and e-Pest surveillance for effective pest monitoring and large-scale farm mechanisation especially introduction of women friendly drudgery reducing farm implements were adopted.
Capacity building of farmers through crop specific training programme with emphasis on integrated nutrient management and integrated pest management played its part in increasing food-grains production.
The consistent improvement in agriculture sector has made Odisha a surplus State with regards to paddy production. It is the fourth largest contributor of paddy pool of Food Corporation of India. As per available statistics of 2020-21, Odisha produces 9% of total rice in India and 4.22% of total food-grain productions of the country.
The State ranks first in terms production of jackfruit, sweet potato and paddy straw mushroom, second in brinjal and cabbage production, third in cashew nut production, fifth in watermelon and tomato and sixth in cauliflower.