Goa

Organic farming in Goa to get boost through centrally sponsored clusters: Vijai Sardesai


From Our Special Correspondent

Daijiworld Media Network - Panaji

Panaji, Jan 10: Agriculture minister Vijai Sardesai addressing a state level seminar on 'The Agriculture Sector in Goa: Towards self sufficiency and sustainable development', said that farm produce 'Brand Goa' be on line with 'Whole Foods' USA as it would provide much needed impetus to the sector.

"The centre has sanctioned 500 organic farming clusters to the state.

"The state should work on United Nation’s agenda of sustainable development growth.

“This model has to be adopted by Goa. Goa has to have something like Brand Goa as it would sell for example, Goa Gutkha which is not produced by a state based businessman nor manufactured in Goa is sold merely for its label.

“Gutkha is neither produced in Goa nor consumed in Goa, but that person made so much money that he bought Vijay Mallya’s house,” he said referring to the purchase of KingFisher Villa at Candolim.

“This brand must be in the agriculture sector so that what we produce is completely organic and safe and we create a brand which is on line with America and called 'Whole Foods'.

"Organic farming will be expensive and will also not be efficient in managing food requirements of the current times. That is why the Government of Goa is going to enter into MoU with an Israeli company wherein we will create a Centre of Excellence (COE) for organic agriculture. The COE will teach farmers how to do organic farming.

“People of Goa expect more from me. Normally Goans have a higher standard compared to other states of India. By expecting more, the people of Goa expect the agriculture department to have agriculture farming cluster. People should see how organic this is.

Sardesai said that self sufficiency has to feature in agriculture. “Self sufficiency should not only be limited to the point of output, but also in terms of quality.

"Goa is allotted 500 organic farming clusters. This allotment was given two days ago. We want organic clusters by using community farming.

“In Goa, due to fragmented holdings, we cannot introduce contract farming straight away. Fragmented farming requires unification. We will go in for community farming.

“The government will put all the infrastructure, but you (farmers) have to come as a united group for community farming. Requirement for this is minimum 10,000 square metre.

“In my constituency I want all the farms to be cultivated 365 days of the year. Basic idea is Goan first and produce should happen in Goa. It is also the role of the agriculture department that the farmer sells something which is also safe."


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