MARGAO: Promising to put in place a Tender Coconut Policy to boost tourism in the state, the Minister for Agriculture Vijai Sardesai, on Tuesday, said that the government intends to incentivise the state landowners, who grow coconut saplings, with an aim to revive the coconut production, which is declining for various reasons.
The Minister was speaking at the one day state-level workshop held on the topic ‘Aspect and prospects of coconut production and post-harvest technology,’ organised by the Coconut Development Board (CDB) under the aegis of Union Ministry for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, in association with the Agriculture Management Technology Authority (ATMA) of Directorate of Agriculture, Margao.
Addressing the gathering of farmers at the Ravindra Bhavan, Sardesai said that it is through his efforts that the coconut tree was made state tree after its status was reduced to a grass by the previous government headed by the BJP.
“The coconut production is decreasing in Goa. We want to revive it and hence planning to give incentives to the landowners who grow coconut saplings in their property” he added.
He further urged the Coconut Development Board chairman Raju N Swami to provide 10,000 hybrid nuts of ‘D into T’ (dwarf) variety, which gives good yield.
The Minister further said that the builders who plant coconut saplings in their properties will also be given benefit of FAR, and further assured to prepare a prospective plan for coconut development in Goa as urged by the Coconut Development Board chairman Swami in his speech.
The Minister for Agriculture also opined that the wild boar should be declared as vermin as it devastates huge tracks of sugarcane plantation and create great loss to sugarcane growers in Goa.
Commenting on the Sanjivani sugarcane factory, which is now being brought under the department of agriculture, he said, “The factory cannot be run using old machines. It is a complete mismanaged affair. We want to re-haul it. We, therefore, have to announce expression of interest to revive it. I will also seek support from the national Krishi Yojana for that.”
Speaking on the occasion, South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar urged the farmers to take benefit of the Prime Minister Kisan Sanmam Yojana wherein Rs 6,000 is being provided to farmers having 2,000 and less square meters of land.
He urged the farmers to obtain Kisan cards for availing other benefits.
Director of agriculture Madhav Kelkar appealed to the farmers to increase the coconut plantation by making best use of the department schemes.