The state government would soon come out with a comprehensive cooperative policy as per the 97th Constitutional amendment, said cooperation and rural development minister Bikram Keshari Arukh here on Saturday.
Addressing a seminar on ‘Cooperative movement-a way ahead,’ organised by Odisha State Cooperative Marketing Federation (Markfed-Odisha) to mark the 59th Cooperative Week, the minister laid emphasis on proper managerial policy and coordination among various government departments to ensure good results from cooperative bodies in future.
Participating in the seminar, Pipili MLA and former cooperative union leader Pradeep Maharathy urged the government to appoint experts to head the state Markfed.
“The mission and major activity of the organisation was to ensure supply of chemical fertilisers to farmers in the remotest areas so as to increase agricultural production and ensure procurement of paddy directly from farmers. But due to lack of appropriate policy and supervision, the Markfed has failed to achieve its goals,” Maharathy observed.
Cooperation and rural development Secretary Bishnupada Sethi said the Markfed was mandated to supply 33 per cent to 35 per cent state share of fertilisers, but during the current year it has supplied 41 per cent of the state’s share which is an all-time record.
Markfed has been visualising an increase of its storage capacity to 1.50 lakh MT by constructing new godowns and repairing the existing ones which were constructed by way back in 1981 to 1989, he informed.
He said the business of fertiliser in the state amounts to around Rs 400 crore a year and it is likely to increase to Rs 500 crore soon.
The paddy business which fetches Rs 800 crore a year may touch the Rs 1,200-crore mark very soon with support from all quarters.
Among others, agriculture minister Debi Prasad Mishra, Registrar of Cooperative Societies and many cooperative leaders participated in the seminar.