Possibilities for collaboration between Odisha Govt and UNEP

Bhubaneswar: August 11: The possibilities of future collaboration and partnership between Govt of Odisha and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have been put on table. A high level meeting to this effect was held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Sri Aditya Prasad Padhi in secretariat conference hall today wherein Development Commissioner Sri R. Balakrishnan outlined the areas for discussion. A ten member delegation team of UNEP led by Executive Director, Mr Erik Solheim held elaborate discussions with senior officers of Govt of Odisha on possible areas of collaboration.

Discussion in the meeting centered round achieving sustainable development through application of green technology.  Scaling up of solar energy, organic farming, and traditional agricultural potential of Odisha were pointed out in the discussion. The traditional horticultural products of Odisha like turmeric, zinger, and maize also figured in the meeting. Principal Secretary Agriculture mentioned that this year organic farming of millets has been introduced among 14000 farmers in the State. The experience of maize cultivation in Odisha under green revolution initiatives was shared in the meeting.  It was pointed out that maize alone had around Rs.1000 cr of market worth.

Chief Secretary Sri Padhi emphasized upon creating appropriate marketing mechanism for farmers so that they would take interest in production of the defined food grains and millets.   Further,  Sri Padhi suggested to form a Joint Committee for identification of specific areas for future collaboration. From Govt of Odisha side, it was decided to constitute the team under Chairmanship of Development Commissioner Sri Balakrishnan with Principal Secretary Agriculture Sri Monoj Ahuja and Principal Secretary Finance Sri Tuhin Kanta Pandy as members. From UNEP side the team was formed under chairmanship of Sri Satya S. Tripahy, Senior Advisor 2030-Agenda for Sustainable Development.  The Joint Committee would give a formal shape to the possible collaboration and would carry forward the negotiations between UNEP and Govt of Odisha.

Additional Chief Secretary Forest & Environment Sri Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, Principal Secretary Steel & Mines Sri Raj Kumar Shrama, Principal Secretary Finance Sri Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Principal Secretary Commerce & Transport, Secretary Energy Sri Hemant Kumar Shrama, Secretary Rural Development and SRC Sri Bishnupada Sethi, Secretary Science & Technology Sri Vir Vikram Yadav, Special Secretary Planning & Coordination Sri G.B. Reddy along with 10 member team of  UNEP including Vijaya Samnotra Country Head UNEP India and Joris Direckx CEO BNP Paribas participated in deliberations.