On 8 January 2024, a stocktaking workshop was organized to review the Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded FAO projects being implemented in Odisha under the chairpersonship of the Principal Secretary Dr Arabinda Kumar Padhee, IAS, Department of Agriculture and Farmer’s Empowerment, Government of Odisha. The current implementation status of the Green-Ag Project and the Sustainable Rice and Wheat Systems projects was presented in the workshop. Additionally, strategies for improving the project delivery to achieve agreed project outputs were discussed in depth. The workshop was attended by the Director of Agriculture and Food Production, Horticulture, Soil Conservation and Watershed Development, Chief Conservator of Forest, Wildlife and Scheme Officers of relevant line Departments of the Government of Odisha. The FAO team was led by Takayuki Hagiwara, FAO Representative in India who highlighted that Odisha is one of the biggest states in the FAO India portfolio and FAO looks forward to strengthening its relationship with the Government of Odisha.
The Green-Ag (GEF-6) project is being implemented in 1650 villages of the Similipal Biosphere of Mayurbhanj district in Odisha. The Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration (FOLUR) Impact Program(GEF-7) will be implemented in three blocks in each of the Ganjam and Kalahandi districts.
Subham Saxena, IAS, Director, Soil Conservation and Watershed Development welcomed the participants. The opening remarks were delivered by the Principal Secretary, the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment. This was followed by presentations and discussions by the FAO team and the State Project Management Unit (SPMU) Odisha. The presentations were followed by discussions on strategies to improve project implementation in the state. The workshop concluded with guidance and directions on the way forward by Dr Arabinda Kumar Padhee. He urged the officers to strengthen inter-departmental collaboration for effective implementation and achievement of project objectives.