Deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant ‘Babu’ Kavlekar on Friday sought Rs 410 crore from the 15th Finance Commission for promoting organic farming, including setting up of an organic agriculture university in the state.
Kavlekar, who holds the agriculture portfolio, while presenting the current status of the state agriculture sector, put forward a proposal on how the state government intends to promote organic farming.
Later, speaking to the media, the minister said that he has impressed upon the chairman and members of the Finance Commission on how the state government is going ahead with organic farming on the lines of the Prime Minister’s vision to convert agriculture practice under organic farming and doubling of farmers’ income by 2022.
“We have already initiated a process to form 500 organic agriculture clusters in the state and set up organic agriculture university. This university will benefit Goa along with Maharashtra and Karnataka. It will work in areas such as teaching, research, laboratory, certification and marketing and branding of organic products,” he said.
The Agriculture Minister said that Rs 410 crore for
promoting organic farming in the state has been sought for a period of five
years. Kavlekar, who also holds
the archives portfolio, said that he has also sought grants from the Centre for translating and digitising old archive documents.
“There are 4 crore old documents pertaining to births and deaths, property, court etc, which are in Portuguese language. We want Rs 1,200 crore for translating these documents and another Rs 300 crore for digitising and making them available online,” he said.
Kavlekar also said that the demands made by him are separate and not a part of the memorandum submitted to the Finance Commission by the Chief Minister.