Bhubaneswar: Odisha tops in sweet potato production in the country.

“Odisha is first in the production of sweet potato, second in brinjal, fifth in watermelon, cauliflower, okra, tomato, and, sixth in bottle gourd at national level as per ‘horticulture area production information system’ (HAPIS) reports 2019-20.”

“Similarly in fruits production category, Odisha ranked second in jackfruit, fifth in lemon, seventh in sapota, ninth in mango and ninth in jackfruit.”

“In the production of spices, Odisha ranked sixth in coriander, seventh in chili, seventh in turmeric and eighth in garlic as per the reports of 2019-20.”

“After becoming a surplus state in rice, milk, poultry and fish fingerling production, Odisha is on its path towards self sufficiency in vegetable and fruit production.”

This was discussed in a high level meeting held under the chairmanship of hief secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra on digital mode from Lokseba Bhawan wherein secretary agriculture Suresh Kumar Basistha outlined the present scenario and available potential of vegetable and fruit production in the State for discussion.

Considering different dimensions of the proposal, chief secretary Mahapatra directed to prepare a target specific time bound work plan for up-scaling the fruit and vegetable production in the context of different agro-climatic zones of Odisha. Mahapatra also directed to list out those species and verities for which Odisha has higher potential.

Department was asked to prepare a well knitted workable plan with inputs from the experts, farmers and agri-entrepreneurs. Development commissioner Pardeep Kumar Jena advised to focus on the vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, tomato, potato and onion; and, the fruit species like papaya, banana, guava and lemon.

A committee was constituted under the chairmanship of additional chief secretary and APC Raj Kumar Sharma to prepare the work plan. Chief secretary Mahapatra directed to prepare the work plan in a couple of weeks reflecting the interventions required in terms of the agri-input, post harvest management, cold storage, market linkage.

Director Horticulture Rohit Kumar Lenka appraised that available data showed that Odisha ranked seventh in production of all kinds of vegetables and eleventh in production of all kinds of fruits as per agri-crop report of 2019-20. The total fruit production in Odisha touched 2482 thousand MT, vegetable production reached 9798 thousand MT, and spice production crossed 202 thousand MT.

Secretary Basistha said that the fruits like banana, mango, guava, papaya, lemon, sapota, pineapple, watermelon and jackfruit; and the vegetables like brinjal, tomato, sweet potato, onion, pumpkin, root crops, cabbage beans, peas etc are commonly produced in Odisha.

Chief Secretary Mahapatra directed to choose small number of these items in the first phase for a more focused intervention. The department was also asked to conduct farmers’ training and orientation programmes about the modern technique of cultivation and yearly return from these non-paddy cash-crops.

Principal secretary cooperation Vir Vikram Yadav, principal secretary energy N. B. Dhal, director agriculture Muthu Kumar, director horticulture R.K. Lenka along with senior officers of concerned departments participated in the deliberations.