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COII to promote organic farming, food processing, horticulture sector in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The Confederation of Organic Food Producers & Marketing Agencies (COII) will promote organic farming, food processing and horticulture sectors in Odisha with the support of farmers’ organizations.
The COII had recently organized a summit on Organic Food Processing & Horticulture Odisha: Advantage Farmers in Bhubaneshwar in this regard.
It had announced plans to work with various farmers’ organizations in the state to increase profits of farmers moving them to certified organic produce through the application of scientific organic technology and facilitating timely and competitive credit.
COII, Chairman D S Rawat in a statement on Tuesday said organic farming is most suitable for the state as 92 per cent of total farmers are small and marginal and use only 57 kg per hectare of fertilizers compared to the national average of around 125 kg per hectare.
The COII along with its knowledge partner Bill Mart will join the state government’s mission to create 100 young entrepreneurs from the farms and allied sectors in one year’s time.
BillMart has developed a mechanism “MSME Gains” to facilitate timely and affordable credit by hand holding the micro, small and medium enterprises, startups and others and providing & up-grade entrepreneurial skills using technology for the growth of businesses.
The summit noted that the current cultivated farm area in the state of 96306.88 hectares is likely to be increasing by 15 per cent per year and the total organic farm products from the current level of 128264.72 MT may go up between 15- 18 per cent.
The global organic food market size is estimated to garner revenue of $485 billion in 2022-30 time frames growing from $168.5 billion in end-2021 at a healthy CAGR of 11.77 per cent.
The per capita income will increase significantly, as for the last 10 years it has gone up by 115 per cent. This will provide inclusive growth and generate direct and indirect sustainable jobs in rural areas for the skilled and semi-skilled people to the extent of 50,000 per year.
The summit supported by APEDA, NABARD, SBI, ABA Farms and others was participated in by over 100 delegates from different parts of the state
According to a study paper on Organic-Horticulture-Food Processing Odisha released on the occasion “there is huge untapped potential that exists in food processing industries with cereals, pulses and other perishable food products contributing Rs.55,000 crore to the state’s economy.
There was tremendous scope for growth, capacity expansion and value addition since Rs.15,000 crore are contributed by pulses and cereals while perishable food products contribute another Rs.40,000 crore”
Dr Rawat said only 10 per cent of perishables are processed with a value addition of around 20 per cent.
He further added that India’s food processing sector is one of the largest in the world and its output is expected to touch US $535 billion by 2025-26 and generate jobs for about one crore people.
The study pointed out that Odisha is the 7th largest producer of vegetables contributing 4.9 per cent of total vegetable production and 12th largest fruit producer i.e.over 2.6 per cent of the country’s total fruit production. (UNI)

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