Odisha CM releases Rs 800 cr to 40 lakh farmers

Odisha CM releases Rs 800 cr to 40 lakh farmers

Odisha Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik. (File Photo: IANS)

Bhubaneswar, May 3 (IANS) On the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday released about Rs 800 crore to farmers under the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (Kalia) scheme. Speaking at a function organised on virtual mode, Patnaik said the fund has been deposited in the bank account of around 40 lakh small and marginal farmers of all districts except Jharsuguda. The district has been excluded from the benefit due to enforcement of model code of conduct in view of by-polls to Brajrajngar Assembly seat in the district. The Chief Minister has advised the farmers to utilise the money in agriculture activities. "Our farmers have played an important role in food security not only in Odisha but also across the country and brought glory for the state," he said. Stating development of agriculture and farmers' welfare are the most important programmes of his government, Patnaik said a budgetary provision of Rs 20,000 crore was made for this sector in this financial year. On this occasion, eight new agricultural development programmes including Rejuvenating Watershed for Agricultural Resilience through Innovative Development (REWARD), Jackfruit Mission and Special Programme for Promotion of Integrated Farming (SPPIF) were launched. The state government has made provision of Rs 97 crore for the jackfruit farmers in nine districts, while REWARD envisages an expenditure of Rs 500 crore, sources said. Similarly, Rs 2,808 crore has been earmarked for extension of Millet Mission in 182 blocks of 19 districts and provision of Rs 239 crore has been made for 1.8 lakh agriculture families in eight districts under the SPPIF programme. In total, Rs 3,644 crore will be spent on the four programmes, the sources said. Stating his government is giving emphasis for investment in the agriculture sector, the Chief Minister said the state will continue to work to make agriculture a profitable profession. Besides, Patnaik also inaugurated the new 'Krushak Odisha' and Go-Sugam portal for farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs.

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