Acting on the instructions of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, 5T Secretary VK Pandian visited Puri and Ganjam some days ago. During his visit to these districts, local betel leaf and kia flower farmers raised a number of problems, which were conveyed to the Chief Minister.
A review meeting was held in the Chief Minister’s office on Sunday to resolve the issues. Pandian along with Development Commissioner and Additional Chief Administrative Secretary Anu Garg, Principal Secretary of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Department Arvind Padhi, and Secretary of Cooperatives Department Arvind Agarwal were prominent among those present at the meeting.
The meeting decided to include all the concerned farmers in a special fruit-based scheme of the state government and will be provided with financial assistance. Farmers with at least 2000 square meters of paddy fields will be considered eligible for the assistance. The Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment will make special regulations for this.
The farmers who have betel leaf farms will be given financial assistance of Rs 2500 per unit for its management. A farmer will get assistance for a maximum of two units. Wide awareness will be created regarding interest-free loans of up to Rs 1 lakh through Kishan Credit Card for betel leaf farming.
The meeting decided to seek clarification from the GST Commissioner regarding the implementation of GST in the betel leaf business and wide awareness will be created in this regard. The subsidy will be provided to betel leaf processing units under the Chief Minister’s Agriculture Enterprise Scheme. A DPR will be prepared for this.
Similarly, kia flower farmers of Ganjam will be promoted under the National Horticulture. In addition to support from the Horticulture Mission, financial support will be provided from the state Budget for kia flower cultivation. This support will be provided through scientific mapping of the areas where kia flower cultivation is done.
These farmers will receive financial assistance on the basis of the report of the Ganjam District Collector for kia flower crops damaged in natural calamities. The Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Department and the Ganjam District Collector will jointly prepare the modality for this.
Necessary changes will be made in the provisions of the scheme to include kia flower processing units in the Chief Minister’s Agriculture Scheme.
It has been decided that the help of Odisha Agricultural and Technical University or any other Indian agricultural research institute will be taken to provide technical assistance to promote kia flower cultivation in the Ganjam district.
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