Stating that the present growth rate of agriculture in Goa is 3.20 per cent, the department of agriculture has come out with a...
PANAJI: Stating that the present growth rate of agriculture in Goa is 3.20 per cent, the department of agriculture has come out with a number of observations as regards retardation of the agricultural sector in the state and remedies to improve the same,
further noting that the slow growth in agriculture is mainly due to high cost and non availability of labour, damage to the crops by the wild animals as well as stray cattle, besides urbanisation and other developmental activities.
“The diversion of available manpower to service sector is another reason affecting the growth in agriculture,” the observations add.
The compilation about the agricultural scenario, which was presented in the House by the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar in the form of various written replies further states that some other problems faced by the farmers in the state are non-availability of unskilled and skilled labour, uneconomical small land holdings, difficulty to obtain agricultural credit, incomplete land ownership records, damage to crops/ plantation due to natural calamities, high cost of inputs and labour, unforeseen market fluctuations in prices, problematic soil, difficulty in marketing of agricultural produce, non remunerative prices for agricultural produce, and attack of pest and diseases on the crops.
The information further states that the estimated agricultural area lying fallow around the state is 12,263 hectares.
“The state, on the other hand, has 39 nurseries, including two in Ponda taluka, seven in Tiswadi, nine in Bardez, four in Pernem, five in Bicholim, two in Sattari, five in Salcete, four in Quepem and one in Canacona,” it adds.
As per the written information, the government provides incentives to farming through various developmental programmes, which include support for inputs like seeds, pesticides, fertilisers, etc and assistance for tilling the soil.
“The mechanisation is promoted to reduce dependence on labour force, while the battery-operated fences are provided for protection from stray and wild animals,” it informs, pointing out that the government has also assured price for major crops like paddy, sugarcane, coconut, areca nut, cashew and alsando, for helping the farmers to get better returns from their available land, which in long run would increase output from agriculture.
“The promotion of mechanisation, polyhouses for indoor cultivation, assured remunerative price to the produce, training to the youth, and proposed programmes for linking farmer to the market for sale of produce are further expected to attract youth in agricultural activity,” the observations of the agricultural department maintain. The agricultural machinery provided includes tractors, mini tractors, power tillers, brush cutters, etc.
Informing about the amount of subsidy and investment for the farmers to get the benefit for all the agricultural schemes of the government, the written information states that farmers have to make full investment against which 50 per cent to 90 per cent subsidy is released by the department of agriculture, depending upon the quantum of subsidy admissible in each scheme. It also notes that in case of paddy, 50 per cent subsidy on seed is provided at the time of purchase by farmers.
It was also mentioned that the government provides free soil testing services to check the nutrient status of the soil and makes available soil conditioners like rock phosphate with 75 per cent subsidy. “Irrigation facilities are promoted, with assistance for installation of pump sets, digging of wells, and installation of sprinkler and drip system,” the information from the agriculture department adds, “In addition, manures and pesticides are also subsidised, and the planting material of new tested varieties is made available.” It was further noted that the government farms are selling the tested and established varieties of fruit plants, warning that the plants sold along the roadside may not be better in terms of quality.