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Odisha – Agriculture and Food Security UPSC NOTE

 Odisha's transformation in agriculture and food security 

  • In the past two decades, Odisha has moved from importing rice from other States and producing 13.606 million tonnes of food grains, its highest production on record.

  • There are two notable aspects: 

  1. A majority of farmers are small/marginal, and productivity has increased despite stable crop area. 

  2. The average rice yield, which is Odisha’s main crop, has tripled in two decades.

In 2000-01 yield was 10.41 quintals per hectare, but by 2020-21, it had increased to 27.30 quintals per hectare.

  • Kalahandi district was known as the “land of hunger,” but has now been transformed into Odisha’s rice bowl. 

  • Odisha Chief Minister shared this at the United Nations World Food Programme headquarters, where he addressed Odisha’s commitment towards achieving the ‘Zero Hunger’ goal of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2.

  • The focus is on small and marginal farmers and increasing their income. 

  • This has directly contributed to strengthening their food security and creating resilient livelihoods.

  • Implementing flagship schemes such as Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) and disseminating scientific crop management practices.

  • Schemes such as the Odisha Millet Mission have also helped diversify crops and promote climate resilience.

Its achievements and potential to serve as a model

  • The consistent improvement of the agricultural sector has made Odisha a surplus State for paddy production. 

  • It is the fourth most significant contributor to the paddy pool of the Food Corporation of India.

  • According to the available statistics for 2020-21, Odisha produces 9% of the total rice in India and accounts for 4.22% of the total food-grain production of the country.

  • The partnership between the United Nations World Food Programme and the Government of Odisha has seen innovation for pilots on improving food and nutrition security schemes.

  • The application of biometric technology in the Targeted Public Distribution System in remote Rayagada district back in 2007, or rice fortification in Gajapati district, to name a few.

  • In the State Ranking Index for the National Food Security Act by the Department of Food and Public Distribution, Odisha emerged as the top-ranked State in the entire country

  • Odisha’s transformative journey, from food grains scarcity to the generation of surplus, sustained efforts in climate-proofing its agricultural system, crop diversification, protection of the interest of the smallholders, and food and nutrition security for the vulnerable presents a unique development model for other States in the context of the challenges of global climate change.


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