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Vegetable Farming: Government Schemes Boosting the Vegetable Farming

Panaji: A scheme of the Goa State Horticulture Corporation Ltd (GSHCL) was launched in just four years, to promote vegetable cultivation, with subsidies on various inputs to Goa farmers, has raised vegetable production from a modest eight tonnes in 2011 to 375 tonnes in 2015.

Corporation officials said that though initially barely 120-odd farmers had registered when GSHCL launched the "promotion of vegetables with assured markets" scheme to promote locally cultivated vegetables in 2001, the number has steadily increased to 997 this year. The scheme is interlinked with the marketing of the produce at GSHCL outlets.

GSHCL's general manager, Madhav Kelkar said, "Farmers are assured a prefixed rate of the vegetables and this rate changes every fortnight. Also, the rates are always 10 extra as compared to the wholesale market rates outside Goa. If the wholesale market rates increase, the farmers, too, are offered the increased prices."

Corporation officials said, the vegetables grown under this scheme include red pumpkins, ridge gourds, brinjals, long beans, okra (bhendi), cluster beans, bottle gourds, cucumbers, gherkins, and suran. Farmers registered under this scheme are provided free high-yielding variety (HYV) seeds, the required fertilizers and a 90% subsidy to buy irrigational equipment for cultivation, provided they have a minimum of 500 meters of agricultural land.

To help farmers the setting up of procurement centres. Kelkar said, "Farmers are provided with procurement centres. Initially there were just four such centres, but today, we have 18 centres where the produce is collected by GSHCL vehicles, thus helping farmers save on transport expenses. This has proved to be the biggest motivation for farmers."

He added "This year the aim is to produce up to 500 tonnes of vegetables. We are expecting more than 10 tonnes of vegetables from the villages of Ibrampur and Hankhane from Pernem taluka as we procure large amounts of vegetables from these villages."

"Last year I earned a profit of around 3 lakh cultivating vegetables under this scheme. This year I am cultivating six acres of land. The scheme has provided me with free seeds, fertilizers and transport," said Sudhir Dhavaskar, who is farmer from Ibrampur.