Stakeholders at Odisha Vikash Conclave 2016 have outlined the theme to and design the road map as a part of good governance and sustainable development.
Rain fed agriculture accounts for over 50% of food grain production and roughly 60% of the value of agricultural GDP in the Country (when rain fed crops, horticulture, livestock and fisheries are included) as per the CRIDA, 2011. About 60% of total cropped area, 48% of the area under food crops and 68% of that under non-food crops remains rain fed today. In terms of crop groups, 77% of pulses, 66% of oilseeds and 45% of cereals are grown under rain fed conditions – without any assured irrigation. Besides crops, rain fed agro-ecological regions is also home to 78% of cattle population and 75% of the goats in the Country. With growth rates of meat production and coarse grain production outpacing the growth rate of the major irrigated input intensive cereal crops, the rain fed areas have demonstrated their economic potential and contribution to food and nutrition (Planning Commission, 2011).
In spite of the larger production contribution, (especially in pulses, millets and oilseeds), rain fed areas do not receive much policy attention in the country as well as in Odisha. Traditionally, land degradation and managing employment failures and distress due to frequent droughts have been the points of discussion in public policy and investments in rain fed areas.
Watershed development programmes in different states including Odisha have successfully demonstrated the ways of harnessing and managing resources (water, soil, seed, etc) for local use. The next logical step is to convert water harvesting and conservation capacity for enhancing productivity and enhancing livelihood opportunities for the poor and marginalised. This can be achieved through a participatory, location-specific transformation of administration, research and development in agriculture. There should be convergence between schemes and programmes to tap funds from various sources such as CSS (MGNREGA, Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana (RKVY), Seed Village, National Livelihood Mission (NLM), Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub Plan (SCA to TSP), Special Central Assistance to Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCA to SCSP) , etc and State schemes like block level rain fed farming program.
Given the scenario, the Odisha Development Conclave-2016 would highlight the following key areas during discussion and deliberations:
- Availability and Access to locally adapted resources (seeds, planting material etc.)
- Locally relevant farm mechanization for marginal & small farms with gender friendly features
- Crop diversification specific to each agro ecological location (millets, pulses & oilseeds inter-cropping, crop sequences, integrated into supply chains like PDS & ICDS)
- System productivity and sustainability enhancement through farming systems ( local cost-effective inputs, renewal of soil & water systems, improved monitoring & pest and disease management)
- Strengthening biomass regeneration and developing support systems to realise potential of small ruminants
- Building support crop livestock systems
- Building decentralised support systems to realise potential for fisheries
- Common pooling of water resources combined with crop diversification
- Sharing of good practices & the opportunity to scale up