Thursday, June 2, 2016

Agriculture dept to introduce new crops

PANAJI: Paving a new way for agriculture in the state, the department of agriculture is making efforts to get farmers to try their hand at cultivating four crops hitherto not grown in Goa.
The department will provide the seeds to farmers free of cost, which include the green gram, a variety of tur dal called the vambam red gram, and two rice varieties namely Korgut selection 17 (KS17) and Korgut selection 12 (KS12).
"These varieties have been approved by the central coastal agricultural research institute (ICAR). They have found that these are suitable to Goa's climate and, furthermore, are better yielding," said director, agriculture, Ulhas Pai Kakode .
He added that the cultivation will be carried out by local farmers in the khazan areas. While the new rice varieties have to be sown in the kharif season, the new tur dal variety can be sown in both kharif as well as rabi seasons.
Introducing a new crop variety to traditional farmers is always a challenge. For the agriculture department, convincing farmers to adopt the new seeds was a tough task since traditionally farmers have been accustomed to only certain varieties of rice.
"There is fear in their mind that the new variety may fail, thus they are hesitant to grow them. Only Jaya and Jyoti varieties of rice have been harvested in the state for over two decades, until now," said Kakode adding that cultivation of new varieties is usually taken up by progressive farmers.
These comprise of 10% of the total number of farmers in the state, which is approximately 2,500 registered farmers.
"Progressive farmers are usually always ready to experiment. It is only when they succeed in growing the new crop that the primitive farmer slowly adopts the new varieties," said Kakode.

Source : TOI 

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