As there is a huge export potential of rice, Odisha is likely to put up a stall at the international meet on rice at Thailand next year to provide world wide exposure to rice varieties, particularly on the local aromatic varieties, said Dr Samarendra Mohanty, head of social science division, IRRI, Philippines.
Talking to newsmen on the sidelines of India Rice Conclave organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Dr Mohanty said there were several areas where he was worked with the Odisha government, Orissa University of Agriculture Technology (OUAT) and others.
He also said about the work done on multi-resistant varieties which would withstand drought and floods, satellite based real time tracking of crops so that loss can be assessed and insurance for crop loss gets paid within a fortnight time, steps to encourage use of mobile phones by farmers to get information on fertilizer use, market rates etc.
Some of these proposals will be initiated in six districts on a pilot basis. Dr. Mohanty pointed out that the focus has now turned to reducing production risks like crop insurance, crop diversification, risk reducing technology, creating opportunities for non- farm income, land consolidation etc.
To enhance the income of the farmer, the production risks should be reduced with improved varieties which should be on short duration so that the farmer can grow other crops like pulses after harvesting paddy.
The vice chancellor of OUAT Surendranath Pasupalak pointed out that in Odisha there is very little scope of reducing the area under paddy cultivation as the low lying land has no choice but to grow paddy and over 90 per cent of the medium land also grows paddy. He also noted that there is no rain gauge system at the Panchayat level.
The Indian chamber of commerce (ICC) will prepare a vision document for paddy in Odisha which will contain all the challenges and the solutions for these challenges faced by the state’s farmers, rice mills and exporters.