Bhawanipatna, Nov 28: Director of Estates, Department of General Administration and Public Grievance, Government of Odisha, Sushanta Mohanty said there is ample scope for development of non-mineral based industries in Kalahandi district.
Speaking during a webinar on ‘Chala Dekhma Amar Kalahandi-6’ (Let’s see our Kalahandi-6) on Sunday, he said there is scope for setting up of agro processing units and food processing units in the district. This apart, there is huge potential for green industries like solar and Information Technology (IT) in the district, he said.
Laying thrust on agro and food processing industries, he said the agro and food processing industries can flourish only through proper branding and marketing of the products.
He also laid thrust on crop diversification and said farmers should opt for non-paddy crops to generate more income. Citing the example of cotton cultivation in the district, he said the cotton cultivation has improved the financial condition of the farmers in the district.
He further said both backward and forward linkage play an important role for the development of the farming sector.
Mohanty said the road connectivity in the district has been improved substantially. However, there is a need to improve the health services in the district, he added.
Former Senior Advisor, NITI Aayog, Government of India, Srikara Naik said the percentage of marginal farmers in the district is 65 percent.
Keeping an eye on such a huge number of marginal farmers in the district, he laid thrust on cooperative farming and formation of Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) for development of marginal farmers in the district.
He opined migration is not a problem rather it is a boon for the rural dwellers of the district. Around 1 lakh migrant workers of the district generate around Rs 500 crore annually. However, the exodus of the rural dwellers should be registered properly by the state government for the betterment of the migrant workers, he added.
Program Director, Ericsson, Bengaluru, Sribant Panda said technology plays a pivotal role in the current era and technology should be used for the development of agriculture.
He also said there is a good market for the quality agricultural products and Kalahandi is known for production of quality agricultural products. The farmers can get good prices for the quality agricultural products, he said.
Panda said there is ample scope for development of tourism in Kalahandi. Currently, tourists are interested to experience village life and spend some days in villages. The villages of Kalahandi can be promoted as tourist destinations, he said.
Managing Director, Destiny Finco Pvt Limited, Kolkata, Devarsi Negi laid thrust on setting up of cold storages and strengthening of cooperative movement for the overall development of the farmers in the district.
Apart from this, he focused on formation of FPOs in the district. The FPOs should connect the farmers with the buyers, he said.
National Awardee & Cultural Organiser, Dhyanananda Panda said there is no dearth of talent in the field of art and culture in the district. However, there is a lack of proper platform and infrastructure in the district.
Apart from providing platform and infrastructure, steps should be taken to provide livelihood to the artists, he said.
He further said the art and culture of the district should be promoted as a part of tourism. The famous dances of the district should be exhibited before the tourists visiting the district to provide a source livelihood to the artists, he opined.
The role of moderator of the webinar was performed by journalist and host, Debendra Bisi. The technical support was provided by Niranjan Mahapatra of Odisha Library Academy. The inaugural song was sung by the noted singer Markanda Naik. Er Ajay Panda of Pragati Group of Institution was the knowledge partner of the webinar.