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Harvester : Goa Government is to Re-implement Harvesting Machine Subsidy Scheme

Goa government has decided to re-implement the scheme for subsidy on harvesters after a gap of nearly one season by considering the growing demand of small-time farmers across the state.

The department of agriculture had stopped the scheme, launched by the erstwhile Congress government and instead announced the support price of Rs 2 on per kilogram of rice. Under the scheme, farmers clubs were provided subsidy on purchase of harvesters.

“The government has decided to reconsider the scheme. Many farmers have placed their genuine problems before us. In Canacona and other talukas, there are hilly agricultural lands where harvesters cannot be moved. Secondly, the government has considered the genuine requests of small-time farmers, more of Salcete, who cultivate their small land holdings for their own consumption and, hence, a decision has been taken to re-implement the scheme,’’ said Minister for Agriculture Ramesh Tawadkar.

The scheme will be reintroduced and the farmers can avail of the benefit of the subsidy this season, he added. Harvesting of the second crop is normally taken up between last week of October and November end. The scheme was stopped after the government observed that despite providing subsidy to the farmers clubs of upto Rs 17.5 lakh for purchase of harvesters, few farmers clubs did not rent it out at subsidised rates.

The harvesters that provided to the farmers clubs were brought from outside the state by paying hire charges. Due to this high charges the government to have a rethink on the scheme. Salcete farmers were the most affected with the state government’s decision of stopping the scheme as nearly 40 per cent of the total 6000 HA of land, which is under paddy cultivation, is being cultivated by small-time farmers and that too for their own consumption.

The state government has considered the impact on the farmers caused by stoppage of the scheme and, therefore, a decision has been taken to re-implement it, the minister said. The department is committed to boost agriculture and, hence, will protect the interest of small-time farmers, Director of agriculture Ulhas Pai Kakode said.