A team of the state agriculture department led by the principal secretary, Mr B Vijayan, which...
PANAJI: A team of the state agriculture department led by the principal secretary, Mr B Vijayan, which recently visited Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry studied agricultural marketing, methods of paddy cultivation and sale of vegetables in the south Indian state as well as the Union Territory, during its tour.
The agriculture director, Mr Satish Tendulkar told The Navhind Times said the state of Tamil Nadu, in particular uses system of rice intensification, a methodology for paddy cultivation aimed towards increasing the yield of rice. “The conditions required for this farming such as level of groundwater and the quality of land are found to be similar in Tamil Nadu as well as Goa,” he added, pointing out that the SRI methodology is now being used on trial basis in Goa, and if the results are found to be successful, he is hopeful of implemented it on a larger scale.
The advantages of SRI methodology, a relatively simple technique are that it needs less fertilisers, seeds, insecticides, labour and most importantly, much less water than is needed in normal modes of paddy cultivation. The water needed is only about one-third of what is used in the traditional system of growing paddy.
The director of agriculture said that Goa has lot of scope in terms of marketing – both import and export – the agricultural and horticultural produces with Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.
“And for that purpose, we have to see if any adjustments could be done in our existing agricultural schemes,” he observed, informing that the consumers in the south Indian regions visited by the Goan agricultural team are exposed to a very good system, wherein they receive fresh vegetables from the fields as also provide good rates to the farmers and cultivators.
A detailed report of the agricultural team would soon be presented to the government, with certain recommendations.
The Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar had decided to keep the agriculture portfolio to himself, so as to ensure increase in the state agricultural output by around 6 to 7 per cent, every year.
Meanwhile, the newly-constituted State Planning Board has taken a decision to give stress on the sectors of agriculture and animal husbandry, and primary work has already begun in this respect. The previous council of the State Planning Board, with Dr Wilfred D’Sousa as its deputy chairman had done very little work except holding one meeting in four years.
The highly placed sources informed that the State Planning Board will take maximum government schemes to farmers and cultivators, especially for the benefit of small and medium-level farmers.
“The Board has found that the advantage of government schemes in agricultural as well as animal husbandry sectors has not been enjoyed by even 10 per cent of the farmers in Goa,” the sources maintained, pointing out that some of the schemes in these sectors could be amended so that smaller farmers will be able to enjoy their benefits, and related request would be made to the department of agriculture.
The State Planning Board has further decided to create a data bank of Goan farmers. “Presently there is no information with the government as regards the number of active farmers in the state, the crops cultivated by them, the localities under cultivation and so on,” the sources noted, lamenting that a scheme such as subsidy on the cowpea bean (alsande) crop did not reach the cultivators of this crop.
Stating that the State Planning Board will also give boost to the milk production in the state, the sources observed that there is an urgent need to speed up the mechanisation in farming.