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Odisha Among Country’s Top Ten Agro Producers: Parmesh Saha

 Odisha is now among top 10 states in many agricultural produces including cereals, fruits and vegetables, said Parmesh Saha, Global Lead for Rural Livelihoods and Agricultural Jobs at World Bank while delivering the 13th Lecturer of the Odisha Knowledge Hub Lecturer series in state secretariat conference hall today. 

‘Because of a series of promotional interventions during last years, State has been able to build all pre conditions required for growth and job creation in agricultural sector. Now the State has become a land of bumper production. Sri Saha suggested the administration to transform this bumper production base to entrepreneurship through setting up of more incubation centres and food processing clusters”, he said.

 He maintained that globally around 21% of jobs are created by the food processing and agri-processing sectors. He cited the examples of South Asian Countries, Europe, France, Thailand and Holland    where the more jobs were created by transforming the bumper production to agricultural entrepreneurship in agri- processing and food production.

He held the opinion that growth of small and medium enterprises in agricultural sectors requires prior growth of multiple micro-entrepreneurs. These micro entrepreneurs along with the small & medium enterprises can generate a large number of job opportunities.

Saha further emphasized that no country could create more jobs without promoting and transforming its agricultural base. Now that Odisha set a high production base, it could take off in creation of more jobs.

 As per the suggestions made by the Secretaries and Collectors who participated in the talk, it was decided that World Bank team would work with Govt of Odisha in transformation of producer groups to entrepreneurs. Saha also suggested for collaboration between the State and World Bank for promotion of grass root incubation for food industry.

 Replying to a media query after the lecture, Development Commissioner R. Balakrishnan said that Saha spoke on how the non-cereal products of Odisha could get a world market and how production of mango, cashew vegetables and fruits could be transformed to entrepreneurship for creation of more jobs in rural society. Development Commissioner further added that state administration would have further engagement with World Bank groups for creation of more incubation facilities in rural Odisha.

Minister, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Sri Pardeep Maharathy presented OKH memento to Parmesh Saha for commemorating his visit to the State. Hon’ble Minister, School & Mass Education Badri Narayan Patra, Minister Women & Child Development and MS &ME Prafulla Kumar Samal, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, MLAs  Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Secretaries of various departments along with senior officers and academicians from Universities, IIT, Institute of physics, IMMT, IIIT, Bhubaneswar participated in the lecture. In view of growing popularity of the lecture, it was extended to 2 other   conference halls of Odisha secretariat and various district head quarters through video conferencing. The Collectors along with students and teachers of leading educational institutions from various districts participated in the lecture through this video conferencing.

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