Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Food Security Act will be introduced soon to cover about 3.26 crore people in the state, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Wednesday.
"Keeping in tune with our commitment, my government is going to introduce a holistic Odisha Food Security Act very shortly with emphasis on agricultural production, marketing and equitable distribution of food grain," Patnaik said on the second day of the collectors' conference here.
The new Act would ensure equitable distribution of food grains to all with focus on tribals, slum dwellers and other vulnerable sections of the society, he told the Agriculture and Food Security session.
Indicators reflecting the socio economic conditions of a family would be introduced to make the coverage inclusive and holistic, he said adding nearly 72 lakh ration cards would be distributed to the surveyed families.
Digitisation of ration cards would also be undertaken to stop pilferage and ensure complete transparency in the distribution of entitlements to deserving families, he said and asked district collectors to act as agents of change to revamp the public distribution system.
Patnaik said efforts will be made to raise productivity by creating additional irrigation potential to the tune of ten lakh hectares within the next five years.
"To achieve this objective, Rs 5000 crore will be spent each year on major, medium and small irrigation projects, deep bore wells, mega lift irrigation projects and restoration of the defunct lift irrigation points.
"Besides, efforts would be made for easy access to quality seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and farm mechanisation along with agricultural credit with the lowest percentage of interest," he said.
To support agricultural marketing the government will create a network of storage facilities, including cold storage chains, threshing floors, drying yards and mandis with sound connectivity with marketing avenues and access to a SMS based information flow, he added.