Agriculture has losing ground in Odisha. Even though the budget of the crop production increased up to Rs 13,181.89 crore in 2016-17, yet area under different crops in the State has decreased to 54.35 lakh hectares (ha) from 58.29 lakh ha in 2000-01.
Sources said the State had 61.8 ha agricultural land in 2014-15 of which cultivation was taken up in 54.56 lakh ha. However, area under farming further decreased in the subsequent years.
Besides, number of farmers has also gone down over the years because of drought and flood. According to the agriculture census in 2000-01, 2005-06 and 2010-11, the number of sharecroppers has gone down by more than two lakhs over the years.
The number of sharecroppers, which was 7,84,938 in 2000-01, has decreased to 5,72,985 by 2010-11. The agriculture census has also brought to the fore the fact that marginal farmers have increased from 22.94 lakh in 2000-01 to 33.68 lakh in 2010-11.
However, the number of small and medium farmers has gone down in the State. While the small farmers have decreased from 11.13 lakh to 9.18 lakh during the period, the number of medium farmers has come down from 6.45 lakh to 3.74 lakh.
The number of big farmers who own more than 10 ha crop land has also decreased from 13,375 in 2000-01 to 5,574 in 2010-11. Official sources said the total number of farmers in the State including the sharecroppers has gone down to 52.4 lakh.