World Bank’s global head for Rural Livelihoods and Agricultural Jobs Parmesh Saha on Thursday suggested that Odisha government transform the state’s bumper agricultural production base into entrepreneurship by setting up more incubation centres and food processing clusters.
“Because of a series of promotional interventions during last years, the state has been able to build all pre-conditions required for growth and job creation in the agricultural sector. Now the state has become a land of bumper production,” said Saha, who was delivering an address at the Odisha Knowledge Hub Lecturer series here.
Saha also suggested for collaboration between the state and World Bank for the promotion of grassroots incubation for the food industry.
He maintained that globally around 21 per cent of jobs are created by the food processing and agro-processing sectors.
He cited the examples of South Asian countries, Europe, France, Thailand, and Holland, where more jobs were created by transforming the bumper production to agricultural entrepreneurship in agro-processing and food production.
“Growth of small and medium enterprises in agricultural sectors requires prior growth of multiple micro-entrepreneurs. These micro-entrepreneurs along with the small and medium enterprises can generate a large number of job opportunities,” Saha said.
He emphasized that no country could create more jobs without promoting and transforming its agricultural base. “Now that Odisha set a high production base, it could take off in creation of more jobs.”
As per the suggestions made by the Secretaries and District Collectors, who participated in the talk, it was decided that the World Bank team would work with Odisha government in the transformation of producer groups to entrepreneurs.
Development Commissioner R. Balakrishnan said that the talk focused on how the non-cereal products of Odisha could get a world market and how production of mango, cashew vegetables and fruits could be transformed to entrepreneurship for creation of more jobs in rural society.
“The state administration would have further engagement with World Bank groups for the creation of more incubation facilities in rural Odisha,” he said.