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Thursday, December 3, 2020

It’s time to celebrate our fruit heritage

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Panaji:  Goa government has decided to promote the local germplasm through State agriculture department during its ongoing drive of distributing seeds to the farmers.

Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai said that the department has been distributing local germplasm to the farmers so that they can be preserved through the greening initiative.

“When we preserved coconut tree from being labeled as grass and instead declared it as a state tree, we should also conserve local variety of fruits and trees,” Sardesai said.

He said State has variety of fruits like `mancurad’ mangoes which needs to be protected and spread across the State through the plantation drives. The minister said that the seeds of plants bearing ‘adama’ (closely related to chikoo fruits) and Jamla along with guavas are also distributed to the farmers by the agriculture department.

“All this is being distributed so the greenery in the state is increased and Goa’s germplasm is spread further. As a matter of point, we don’t distribute Hapoos Mango (which is not from Goa),” he said.

The minister said that the agriculture department has also decided to take up plantations on the hills owned by communidades (a Portuguese-era community land holdings).

“Agriculture department distributes on an average 50,000 trees. This year we have decided to grow these trees on communidade lands. Agriculture department will maintain it while communidade or local farmers can enjoy the profits by selling the fruits,” he said.

“Agriculture department will not make money. Our intension is to create greenery. We are going to take up pilot project in Fatorda constituency of planting cashew trees on communidade lands. It includes agriculture department doing intensive cultivation on hillock or lands where there are not trees. We will do the planting as well as maintenance,” he said.

The department has decided to opt for cashew cultivation of Vengurla 7 or 4 variety which are high yielding trees. “They give yield which is five times more than the local variety of the tree,” he added.

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