Groundnuts cultivation in the state was common in the past. However over the last couple of years the production of groundnuts is decreasing as farmers are moving out of the crop steadily. It is learnt from the sources that the groundnuts which were once commonly cultivated in several villages has shown decrease as cultivation of it requires hard work and after hard work also several times the wild animals damage the crops causing loss to the farmers.
The production of groundnuts in the state during the year 2012-13 was 7469 tons while estimated area under cultivation was 3108 hectares. In the year 2013-14 the production decreased 6590 tons while the estimated area under the groundnuts cultivation also fell 2591 hectares and in 2014-15 the production further came down to 4311 tons and the estimated area came down to 2271 hectares. Overall cultivation is on the downtrend from 4035 tons in 2015-16 to 3470 tons in 2017-18.
Check reveals that Goan farmers are switching to vegetable cultivation where earlier they cultivated groundnuts as growing of vegetables like ladies fingers and others is easier and also profitable.
A youth from a family of farmers, Pernem taluka said, “We have stopped cultivating groundnuts and on that area we are cultivating vegetables mainly ladies fingers as the work is less hard and the vegetables are ready to harvest in less time.” Another farmer said that the groundnuts cultivation have decreased in the state due to the hard work involved, high labour cost and damage done to the crop by the wildlife.
The current reality is that, most of the groundnuts in the state comes from outside as the production done by the farmers is generally not on very large scale and it has deceased a lot. The rate of the groundnuts coming from outside the state is more compared to the local groundnuts which is hardly available in the markets these days.
A shopkeeper who sells groundnuts in the city said that most of the groundnuts in the state comes from outside Goa from places like Kholapur and Belagavi as the production done by the farmers in the state is generally not on very large scale and several state farmers use their production for extracting oil for self-consumption. Therefore locally produced groundnut is hardly available in the market.
According to the information available from the sources, farmers have to put in hard work for groundnuts cultivation and generally two to three ploughing followed by two harrowing is needed to bring the soil to a fine tilth. Deep ploughing is advantageous in rain fed areas because of better retention of moisture and improvement in soil porosity. When the seeds are sowed the land requires weeding and therefore labourers are required to remove weed. Framers said that, weeds cause maximum damage to the crop and improper weed control is a major constraint affecting groundnut yields.
“It is difficult to get labourers these days and they are costly and after doing all these hard work there is no guarantee that we will get good yield as the wildlife such as peacock and wild boars cause damage to the groundnuts crop,” said a farmer.
Goa’s groundnut cultivation may never revive looking at the depressing trend over the years, In other states groundnut is a profitable crop There are nine states having production of more than 100 thousand tonnes viz. Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Telangana. Groundnut is likely to see the biggest increase in output in the current year as its s production is projected to grow by 8.6 per cent in 2019-20 due to favorable weather conditions and bigger acreage by cultivating states. According to the government, yield which was 1,085 kg/hectare last year, is expected to hit 1,800 kg/hectare this year. The government is offering farmers price of Rs 1,000 (per 20 kg.)