The Department of Agriculture in Canacona through its unique exercise set up an example in Goa to cultivate barren properties owned by various religious institutes. With the initiative of Zonal Agriculture Officers (ZAO) of Canacona Kirtiraj Naik Gaonkar, so far five hectares of the land has been cultivated with the help of the Devalaya Committee of Sristhal Mallikarjun.
“This is one of an attempt to see the vision of the Agriculture department of Goa is complete and also to develop the fields and farms to support the national vision”, said Naik Gaonkar speaking to GNH.
President of Mallikarjun Devathan Temple Committee, Vithoba Desai informed that so far the plantation of Mango, Coconut and Cashew is completed in five hectares of the properties located in Bhatpal, Mokhard and Palolem. He said that cleaning and leveling work of other few properties will begin soon so that most of the agricultural properties will be used for the purpose of agriculture.
“The temple committee and Mahajan of Shree Mallikarjun Devalaya, Shristhal, Canacona are thankful to the Department of Agriculture for their valuable support to develop agriculture in Devalaya land. We had large plots of barren land which have been converted into green fields with the help of Government schemes and subsidies. The Agricultural Officers and Staff promptly helped us to plant coconuts, Cashew and Mango on our land. They provided us necessary support such as tree saplings, manure , fencing, irrigation etc. In near future we plan to develop more agricultural and horticultural farms in Devalaya properties”, Desai said.
Temple and Church committees own comparatively more land than private properties in Canacona thus holding a major share of agricultural as well as the commercial spaces.
Department has also communicated to other temples and churches in the Canacona that includes Partagal Jivottam Math that holds rights over the properties across a couple of villages in Poinguinm village panchayat.
Naik Gaonkar has informed that the department has received a positive response from the churches as well as temples from Poinguinim and Loliem.
“We will begin the plantation after studying the fertility of the soil. As per the soil quality we will propose for the cultivation. Entire Canacona is a very fertile land whereas a lot of farm lands were unutilised due to various reasons”, the Agriculture Officer said.
Department has so far tendered the support to fence the property, irrigation and to plough. The officers from the agriculture department of Canacona have personally monitored the process right from installation of power fence, irrigation and the plantation of the saplings.
This the first ever exercise in the entire Goa to convert the abandoned and farm lands in Canacona with the proactive efforts and positive ideas of the Agriculture department.
Speaking further to GNH, ZAO Canacona Naik Gaonkar said that the next step of the department is to get more and more such properties under cultivation to increase the produce and look for the positive marketing.
“Right now farmers are facing an issue of marketing their produce for a good price within their periphery. It is also the responsibility and obligation of the department to support the farmers to get the best price for the crop. That is our next endeavor to support the farmers community”, he mentioned.