OdishaPlus Bureau

The first Paschim Odisha Krushi Mela 2023, aimed at enhancing opportunity and value addition in western Odisha’s agriculture and allied sectors, was inaugurated at the PHD ground in Sambalpur on Friday.

The five-day long exhibition, which will continue till January 31, is organized by the Govt of Odisha and Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) in association with FICCI.

CM Naveen addressed the inaugural session via a video message

In a video message while inaugurating the Mela, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the exhibition has brought massive opportunity to the farmers in the backdrop of the fact that farm mechanization has become the need of the hour. “The Mela will help farmers understand new and successful farming methods in details as well as the machineries required for the purpose.”

He urged farmers to increasingly use machines and scientific methods in farming and said, “I firmly believe this will help revolutionize the sector and help in the financial empowerment of the farmers.”

He said Odisha has been awarded time and again at the national level for the skill and efficiency of its farmers. “The government is always with the farmers and will continue to remain so in addressing the various issues related to farming and farmers.”

Asit Tripathy, Chairman Western Odisha Development Council

Earlier, addressing the gathering, WODC Chairman Asit Kumar Tripathy said that the Krushi Mela (and the Mechanization Fair) will be of immense benefit to the farmers as it will not only help them get exposure to various advancements in farming techniques and market accessibility, but it will also facilitate their interaction with various experts during the interactive sessions. “Please participate in the four seminars in the next two days and get your queries answered,” he said in his appeal to the farmers.

Tripathy also appealed to the ground-level officials to get more allied with the farmers and learn to speak in the latter’s language.

In his speech, Minister for Agriculture & Farmer’s Empowerment and Fisheries & ARD Ranendra Pratap Swain said mechanized farming helps farmers in reducing the cost of produce and thereby save their time for other activities. “It helps in the empowerment of farmers,” he said.

Moreover, it particularly helps in the health and empowerment of women who contribute to over 60 per cent farm labour. “Use of advanced farming equipments will make agriculture women friendly. As said by the Hon’ble CM, women centric implements have to be produced by the stakeholders. We are taking the first initiative in that direction,” he said explaining that the policy decision (in mechanized farming budget) of 75 per cent subsidy on farming equipment for individual woman farmers and 100% subsidy for WSHG federations constitute part of the resolve.

The five-day exhibition will showcase the latest trends and innovations in agribusiness space, processing industry, market linkages and agripreneurs and farm innovators. Several plenary sessions have been scheduled to discuss different aspects of farming and agriculture involving participation of farmers, policy makers, researchers, planners and bureaucrats.

Inauguration of the Exhibition

The exhibition has a total of 100 stalls, comprising agri implants, millets, handloom, handicrafts and live demonstration of heavy machinery. 50 progressive farmers from Western Odisha will be given awards for their exemplary contribution to agriculture and farming at the fair.

Over the last decades, Odisha has achieved significant growth in agro food production and has received the prestigious ‘Krishi Karman Award’ at the national level for five consecutive occasions. Western Odisha has been a major contributor of crop production, livestock, fishery, cereals, millets, forest produce and all sectors of agricultural and allied production in the state.