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A golden harvest and a green Goa

Miguel Braganza

The golden crop of rice grains has been harvested and gathered into barns. After a severe monsoon season and a rainy Diwali, the people of Santo Estevao finally have a reason to smile. After choking in the flood waters, the Korgut rice has come out almost like a southern Baptist from the baptismal pool. Even a hugely optimistic person like the president of the Ilha Verde Farmers’ Club, Nestor Rangel, had given up hope. Those who knew the resilience of rice a little better hoped for the recovery of the rice in the fourteen lakh square metres of khazan land on this island, and recover it did splendidly! The plans for sowing cowpea and vegetables to reduce the losses can now be put to use to increase the profits from farming.

Hope is central to the Christian faith that rests on the three pillars of faith, hope and love. The Indian belief of reincarnation finds an echo in the hope of the resurrection of love. Even after the scourging of the three-month delay in the declaration of the results and the crucifixion at the gates of universities and government directorates for want of accreditation of their college, hope has resurrected for three alumni who got admissions to a pursue a master’s degree in Maharashtra and Punjab. Two alumni who managed to get employment as teachers and one alumna who presented two research papers at the international conference  ‘In Sync with New Generation Bio Sciences’ or INGB that came her way at Panaji. The work Priyanka Parab has done will help generate further research in Goa to find organic solutions to improve crop yields and we hope that it will inspire other youth to do likewise to make organic farming more profitable and have a bigger market by reducing the price to the end consumer.

This is also the time of year when one’s mind shifts to thinking of growing vegetables in their own kitchen garden and the Alsanddo or the cowpea grown on the residual moisture in rice fallows. We have discussed the pulse crop a couple of weeks ago. There is now an opportunity to interact with Yogita Mehra and Karan Manral who have given a major boost to organic vegetable gardening at home on the ground or in balconies of apartment blocks across Goa. They will also explain how to convert kitchen solid waste into compost as will the staff of the Corporation of the City of Panaji  and the members of the Botanical Society of Goa at the ‘Plant Utsav’ being held in the Garcia da Orta, Panaji from November 15 to 17 from 10 a.m. to

8 p.m.

The Ayurveda College and the Medicinal Plant Board will display medicinal plants. There will be professionals helping us understand how to reuse gray water, i.e. water from the washbasins, sinks and bathrooms, for gardening. There will be nurseries selling plants, seeds, manures, pots and garden tools to help you find your ‘Green Fingers’. It will be nice to learn of more households doing organic vegetable gardening this season. There are prizes to be won at the BSG’s home garden competition in mid-January, 2020. One has to start now to stand a chance to win prizes. For a greener and cleaner Goa, it is best to work as a TEAM – for, as we know, Together Everyone Achieves More!

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