CRRI launches Business Planning and Development unit

In order to give an entrepreneurial status to rice farming in Odisha, the Central Rice Research Institution (CRRI) here has come up with an innovative unit to look into the aspects of business, planning and development of rice growers.

The unit aptly called Business Planning and Development (BPD) unit was launched here on Saturday.

Launching the unit, director of New Delhi-based National Agricultural Innovative Project (NAIP), Dr Rama Rao said the BPD unit will go a long way in attracting rice farmers towards entrepreneurship. Speaking on the occasion, the CRRI director Dr T. Mohapatra informed that BPD unit was a World Bank- funded project.

Objectives

Outlining the objectives of this unit, the project inspector Dr G.A.K. Kumar said that this unit will create an environment to foster integration of all stakeholders, including farm researchers, financial institutions, extension officers and marketing forces.

The coordinated effort of this unit will develop a policy to promote profit oriented rice-based farming. He hoped that giving rice farming an industrial status, the socio economic conditions of rice growers will get a major boost.

Meagre price

While rice is the staple food of nearly 65% of our population, rice farmers end up as losers getting a meagre price for their produce.

“The current Minimum Support Price (MSP) of rice is only Rs 1,320 per quintal which is not encouraging,” Dr Kumar said adding for which the farmers are turning away from rice cultivation.

If such trends are not arrested, the ambitious food security bill will come as a cropper, said the speakers on this occasion.

They pointed out that under such situation BPD unit, which would soon be registered as a Company, will assume greater importance in creating agro-preneurs among rice growers. BPD also aims to impart training in setting up agri-enterprises and their management. This unit will also look into production, finance, personnel and marketing aspects to evolve successful agri-preneurs.

Legal assistance

“Once unit is registered as a Company, it will provide legal assistance to agri-preneurs,” said Dr Kumar.

With a view to popularise its inventions of farm techniques, the Central Rice Research Institution also organised a brainstorming discussion on this occasion. Experts from banks, farm engineering and farm scientists deliberated on a number of inventions of the institute which have potentiality to be converted into enterprises.

The speakers hope that seed production of hybrid rice and high yielding varieties can be converted into enterprises.

Economic status

Similarly, manufacturing of farm implements such as a Power tiller, Cage wheels, Conoweeders and Power threshers could also be set up as small scale industries to enhance economic status of the farmers.

Executives from banks, agricultural universities and MSME officials also participated in this workshop.

CRRI launches Business Planning and Development unit