Bhubaneswar : Odisha government today signed an MoU with the Bill and Melinda gates Foundation for inclusive agriculture transformation in the state.
Official sources said the signing of the MoU wIll improve the lives and livelihood of small and marginal farmers in the State and the Agriculture department envisages to strengthen its programmes by accessing expertise, technology and high-impact innovations.
There will be endeavour to bring sustainable production, food quality improvement, reduce vulnerability to drought, pest and other climate-related risk through advanced soil and water resource management.
As per the agreement Gates Foundation wil also support accelerating of data use and policy implementation to build a vibrant, climate-Smart and integrated farming economy to serve marginal and landless farmers of the State.
Reiterating the Govermment’s commitment to quality life of farmers, especially landless labourers, small holders and women, Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment, Fisheries & ARD Arun Kumar Sahoo hoped that the partnership with the Gates Foundation will bring in best global practices, state-of-the-art technology and innovations for the improvement, empowering the farmers with information and partnership services.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Director Alkesh Wadhwani said Gates Foundation is honoured to continue strong collaboration with the Odisha government towards improving the livelihoods of smallholder producers.
The foundation has been working closely with the Odisha Government in developing data-based decision systems for agriculture, fisheries, and animal resources sectors; diversification to high value crops, strengthening FPOs and shaping inclusive markets; digital extension; predictive technology, and integrated farming.
With the signing of the MoU the foundation will catalyze and move forward multi-stakeholder partnerships and innovations that drive nutritional security, and environmental sustainability.
It will provide technical support to the Department in the design implementation of programmes in which there will be emphasis upon data systems, technology development, and private sector partnerships and economic opportunity in an integrated and inclusive way for smallholder agriculture.