Wednesday 19 December 2018

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Economy | Agriculture

Goa now experiments with Farmers' Public Ltd Co.

 

The agriculture department has identified 1,000-odd farmers all over Goa for various new agricultural initiatives, for which a provision of 3 crore has been made, said agriculture minister Ramesh Tawadkar.

Briefing mediapersons on Monday, Tawadkar said that the department has adopted 58 villages in Goa, where department officials will conduct a study and assess the needs of the farmers there; identify the crops that are suitable for cultivation there and so on.

The department will then support these model villages to boost agriculture.

Tawadkar added that the department will work to rehabilitate 18,000 hectares of khazan land in Goa, which is presently ruined due to th ingress of saline water resulting from broken bunds.

All this khazan land will eventually be brought under cultivation, he said, adding that the state government has received 159 crore for this project to be undertaken under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) scheme.

The agriculture minister said that the department's initiatives are doing well and the department, for the first time, exported 17 tonnes of green chilli to Belgaum last year.

The department is striving to make agriculture profitable so that the youth of Goa can take up agriculture as a full-time profession.



Some people are so enamoured of agriculture that few have gone into new agricultural ventures. Tawadkar named Krishna Nanu Naik from Margao, who is selling packaged coconut toddy as a juice for a tidy sum of money.

Naik also has plans to extract sugar from the coconut toddy which will fetch a price of around 350 per kg, he said.

The department has sold out over 10,000 hybrid varieties of coconut saplings at subsidized rates all over Goa.

This hybrid variety was obtained by crossing a normal coconut variety with the Benaulim variety and the hybrid yields fruit once it reaches a height of two metres.

The department is looking at ways of how to provide value addition to local horticultural produce like cashew, mango and jackfruit. While Kerala has found various innovative ways to utilize jackfruit for consumption, almost 80% of the jackfruit crop in Goa goes waste, Tawadkar said.

The government will therefore form a committee, which will visit other states to study how to value addition can be done to these horticultural crops, he added.






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