PANAJI: The agriculture sector, which was allegedly neglected over the last couple of years, may see a ray of hope as the government has decided to increase the agricultural output by around 6% to 7% every year.
Chief minister Manohar Parrikar has decided to keep the agriculture portfolio to ensure agriculture growth which has witnessed a decline over the years.
Parrikar said, “I have decided to keep the agriculture portfolio because I want to ensure that agriculture production in Goa increases by 6% to 7% every year”.
Goa is covered with 3.70 lakh hectares of land out of which 1.40 lakh hectares is used for agriculture. Over the last couple of years, Goa has witnessed less then 2% agriculture growth and to increase this, the government has made a budgetary provision of 137 crore, which is a 40% increase as compared to last year’s budgetary provision to boost agriculture in the state.
According to the recently published economic survey, the negative growth of -10.38% in the agriculture sector in 2008-09, increased to 5.37% in 2009-10. However in 2010-11, the growth rate dropped down to 1.54%, the survey states. In Goa, around 50,000 families depend on agriculture with a total population of around 2.5 lakh people.
Paddy crop, cashew production, coconuts, arecanut, sugarcane and various types of vegetables are some of the major agriculture crops of the state. Around 1.2 lakh raw paddy and 25,000 tonnes of cashewnuts were produced in the state last year.
Agriculture director Satish Tendulkar said the increase in agriculture area, investment in agriculture sector and production per hectares will help the department to increase the agriculture output in the state.
The government has already started providing support for building infrastructure, irrigation project, mechanization and poly houses for agricultural growth. The government also provides subsidy for farmers to purchase seeds, machinery, solar fencing and installing the water pumps.
Tendulkar said that the government is focusing on increasing paddy production and to promote groundnut production in the state. “The results of steps taken by the government to increase agriculture growth will be evident in the next two years,” Tendulkar said.
Times of India