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State govt to encourage organic farming

Panaji: Deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant ‘Babu’ Kavlekar, who also holds the Agriculture portfolio, on Tuesday said in the state assembly that the government will encourage organic farming in the state. He also said that the central government has made a provision of Rs 50 crore for three years to promote organic clusters.

Replying to the demands on agriculture department, the minister said that Goa has 5,000 hectares of land that are under third party for organic farming for which the farmers are getting a premium price.

“The state government will promote organic farming under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana wherein one cluster of 20 farmers can be created. The central government has made a provision of Rs 50 crore for three years and the government will provide training to farmers on organic farming,” he added.

The Agriculture Minister said that the government has paid a compensation of Rs 32.33 lakh to 395 farmers whose farms were destroyed by wild animals. He said that his department is also making efforts to increase production of coconuts by distributing 80,000 coconut saplings every year.

Kavlekar said that due to soil conservation efforts and subsidies provided to the farmers, there has been an increase in agricultural production like paddy, cashew etc in the last three years.

Kavlekar also claimed that in the recent past, a change in mindset of youth can be seen as regards agriculture. “The department has issued 36,000 Krishi cards to farmers in the state out of which 5,765 are youth. We still need to encourage more youth to take up agriculture,” he said.

Stating that the government is promoting vegetables and flowers, the minister said that as of now, 138 farmers have availed benefit of polyhouses constructed under horticulture scheme. Kavlekar also assured to enquire into polyhouse issue of Canacona and why the polyhouse scheme failed in the past. The minister said that the agriculture department is introducing various technical advancements.

As regard to the archives and archaeology department’s demands, Kavlekar said that there are thousands of monuments in the state other than the protected monuments, which need a detailed study in order to protect the heritage sites.

Surprisingly, Kavlekar did not reply on demands for town and country planning and factories and boilers, which was listed and discussed by the legislators on the floor of the House.

Meanwhile, speaking on demands for agriculture, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that there will be no suicide by farmers in Goa due to agricultural loans.

“There may be a national trend wherein farmers have been committing suicide due to agricultural loans. But there will be no such incidents in Goa, as the state government is capable of supporting the farmers,” he said.

MGP MLA Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar brought to the notice of the House that the state government has made negligible provision of Rs 1,000 under agriculture loan waiver scheme.

Replying to him, the Chief Minister said that though the provision is very less, the state government will raise it in the future.

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