Bhubaneshwar (09 April 2018): Bhoochetana, an initiative that has transformed lives of several million farmers in Karnataka, is now being launched in Odisha. The Department of Agriculture, Government of Odisha–and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) joined hands and signed a Memorandum of Agreement today to potentially benefit 4.35 million farmers in the state. The three-year agreement is set to reach 6.1 million ha of farmland in 30 districts of Odisha through a science-led development approach.
Bhoochetana, meaning revival of the land, involves soil health mapping, nutrient recommendations and support to farmers. Already in Karnataka, over 4.75 million farmers have benefited from this scheme, which has led to a 20-66% crop increase and total net benefits of $350 million.
Now in Odisha, the soil analysis, nutrient management recommendations and treatment will be shared with farmers. This will help increase productivity through improved practices. Also, improved cultivars, local seed banks, land and water management practices and capacity building for farmers will be implemented. The MoA was signed in presence of the Hon’ble Agriculture Minister, Shri Pradeep Maharathy by the Director, Agriculture & Food Production, Government of Odisha and Dr Suhas P Wani, Research Program Director, Asia and Director, ICRISAT Development Center, on behalf of Director General of ICRISAT.