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How the Odisha government plans to help farmers battling flood to keep food grain production high

Monday, 25 August 2014 - 1:10pm IST | Place: Bhubaneshwar | Agency: PTI

In a bid to provide market facilities to the farmers to sell their products, Odisha government has decided to set up two market terminals in the state.
"The market terminals will be set up near Berhampur and Sambalpur, the southern and western Odisha towns respectively in a joint venture by the state government and the centre with an investment of around Rs 90 crore," Odisha's Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathi said here yesterday.
Though the farmers in the state are capable of producing more agriculture products, they suffered due to lack of proper market avenues and storage facilities, he said at a function on the 53rd foundation day of Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) here yesterday.
Maharathi said the government emphasised setting up of cold-storages through private entrepreneurs in the state with provision of subsidies. While 75 per cent subsidy would be provided for setting up of the multi-purpose cold-storage in KBK (undivided Kalahandi-Bolangiri-Koraput districts), 60 per cent subsidy declared in the coastal areas, he said.
The government is also planning to lower electricity tariff for cold-storages, he said adding, "We have given a proposal to the chief minister and he has promised to seriously consider it."
He also announced that the government would set up second agriculture university of the state in KBK region this year.
"The government is giving attention on agriculture sector and to produce more foodgrains in the state, despite the fact that natural calamities like drought, flood and cyclone hit the state frequently", Maharathi said.
"We have provided Rs 2727.99-crore in agriculture sector in the budget for 2014-15. It is around 33 per cent higher than last year," said state's finance minister Pradeep Amat, while addressing the function.
Though the agriculture sector suffered due to natural calamitites, the state had produced a record 102.10 lakh tones of foodgrains in 2012-13, finance minister said.
State's Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh stressed on the need for increasing potato and onion production in the state to minimise dependence on the other states. State's Higher Education Minister Padeep Panigrahi also addressed the function. 

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