Goa News

Increase support price for paddy crop, Aldona MLA

Panaji: Aldona MLA Carlos Alvares Ferreira has urged the state government to increase the support price for the paddy crop.

Supporting the cut motion and opposing the demands for agriculture during the ongoing assembly session, Ferreira said that the cost of fuel, manure, labour and machinery has increased.

“Paddy support price was increased from Rs 20 to Rs 22. However, this should be increased to Rs 24. The support price for cashew was increased from Rs 125 to Rs 150 and coconut from Rs 12 to Rs 15, hence paddy should also be increased,” he said.

Also, the uniform rate for subsidy for the harvester proves inequitable in the khazan lands.

“The rate for hiring harvesters earlier was Rs 2000/ha, and in 2019-20 it was Rs 2400/ha, and since March 2022 it is Rs 2,800 per hour. This has created confusion. In Aldona constituency, the fields are khazan land and hence taking the machine through the soft soil is difficult, especially in monsoon. Sometimes the machine also gets stuck, and this takes additional time for entry and exit,” he said.

He also said that the subsidy amount due to farmers should be released on time.

“There is a delay in releasing subsidy. Farmers struggle due to this. Some tenants association of farmers are forced to take loans. There is delay of 1-2 years,” he said.

Emphasizing on the need to promote local varieties, he said, “We need to promote local seeds. There is demand for varieties like Moira tendli, Aldona chillies, Marcel and St Estavao Lady’s fingers and cucumbers. Give people subsidies to adopt new techniques to promote local variety. Also, we must promote cultivation of greens like lady’s finders, chilies, ginger, coriander and turmeric which can be grown throughout the year. Efforts should be made to grow these greens and promote the local economy,” he said.

He also urged the agriculture department to to hold camps with farmers’ clubs instead of talukas-level malas. “Hold these programmes in conjunction with the local farming communities on site,” he added.

Ferreira also spoke on pending bundh works.

Speaking on the agriculture staff, he said that those on contract basis can be given permanent posts as extension officers on a lower scale.

He also said that the should be an increase in pay scale of agriculture officers, and also said that promotions are also held up.

Regarding the supply of fortified rice at fair price shops, Ferreira urged the government not to push force this on the people and instead give them a choice and promote local variety instead.

He also told the government to fill up the vacant post at the state consumer commission as per the Supreme Court directives.

Ferreira also called for boosting local handicrafts, like sarees. “This will benefit the self-help groups and women,” he said.

At the same time, Ferreira also recommended that the Department should have a copy of Khazan Ecosystems of Goa by Sangeeta Sonak which gives details of Khazan lands and various techniques of preserving the same.

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