Harvest the Odisha story to ensure food security – Odisha’s Transformative Journey: From Food Scarcity to Surplus in the Face of Climate Change | 12 December 2023 | UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis

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What's the article about?

  • It analyzes Odisha's transformation in food security, highlighting its success in overcoming food scarcity, building climate resilience, and promoting sustainable agricultural practices.


  • GS3: Major Crops – Cropping Patterns in various parts of the country, – Different Types of Irrigation and Irrigation Systems; Storage, Transport and Marketing of Agricultural Produce and Issues and Related Constraints; E-technology in the aid of farmers
  • GS3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment


  • Odisha's story serves as an inspiration in the face of a worsening global food crisis. Once a state reliant on imported rice, Odisha has undergone a remarkable transformation, becoming a surplus producer with a record-breaking 13.606 million tonnes of food grains in 2022.
  • This achievement is all the more impressive considering that the state predominantly relies on small and marginal farmers who have seen their average rice yield triple in two decades.


  • The success of Odisha's agricultural transformation can be attributed to several key factors:
    • Community-driven approach: Initiatives like the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme and digital extension services have empowered farmers and increased their income.
    • Scientific crop management: Implementing sustainable practices, including zero-input natural farming and integrated farming, has boosted productivity while diversifying crops and promoting climate resilience.
    • Women-centric initiatives: The introduction of women-friendly farm implements has reduced drudgery and empowered female farmers.
  • Building Resilience in the Face of Climate Change:
    • Odisha's vulnerability to climate change necessitates proactive measures. The state's comprehensive Climate Change Action Plan addresses various sectors, from agriculture and coastal zone protection to energy and water resources.
    • This plan, formulated with input from experts and civil society, emphasizes bottom-up implementation and ongoing monitoring.
  • Key aspects of Odisha's climate-resilient approach include:
    • Crop planning based on agro-climatic zones: This ensures farmers are equipped to handle local challenges.
    • Adoption of climate-resilient practices: These include water management techniques, e-pest surveillance, and large-scale farm mechanization with women-friendly implements.
    • Training programs for farmers: These programs equip farmers with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in a changing climate.
  • Social Protection and Global Partnerships:
    • Odisha's success extends beyond food production. The state's consistent improvement in agriculture has made it the fourth-largest contributor to the Food Corporation of India's paddy pool.
    • Odisha also emerged as the top-ranked state in the National Food Security Act implementation, demonstrating its commitment to social protection.
    • Partnerships with organizations like the United Nations World Food Programme have further strengthened Odisha's food security and nutrition initiatives.
    • These collaborations have seen innovative pilots, such as the application of biometric technology in the Targeted Public Distribution System and rice fortification programs.

Way Forward: A Model for the Future

  • Odisha's transformative journey presents a unique and valuable model for other states facing similar challenges. The state's focus on community-driven development, scientific practices, climate resilience, and social protection offers a roadmap for achieving food security and sustainability in a changing world. Odisha's story serves as a beacon of hope, demonstrating the potential for positive change even in the face of complex global challenges.

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