Orlim, Benaulim and Cansaulim VPs seek changes in Draft Goa Agriculture Policy
MARGAO: A series of three gram sabhas were held in the village panchayats of Orlim, Cana-Benaulim and Cansaulim wherein resolutions were passed seeking changes in the Draft Goa Agriculture Policy, which will be forwarded to the Agriculture Department.
While the GS meeting in Benaulim was held on Sunday morning and in Cansaulim on Sunday evening, the GS in Orlim was held on Saturday.
The President of Goyche Fudle Pilge Khatir (GFPK), Jack Mascrenhas, who spoke at these meetings added that two more meetings are planned in Ambora on Monday and Verna on Tuesday.
At Orlim, Benaulim and Cansaulim, the GS members resolved that the agriculture policy should be guided by a vision that encompasses the welfare of the farmer, preservation of his land and enhancement of his crops; wherein the policy ensures that these three aspects are adequately safeguarded.
“It should also acknowledge that Khazans are a unique agricultural heritage of Goa and deserve special attention. The environmental safeguards in the policy should promote sustainability for the future and data mapping should provide the basis for it,” the villagers added.
“Therefore, we recommend that all the relevant departments from Agriculture to Environment to Climate Change, including the Directorate of Panchayats, work in coordination on the agricultural needs of Goa. We further recommend that the policy should aim to minimise the risks for agriculture, increase the production, simplify the governance, and decentralise the decision-making. We express our support for this vision for the future of Agriculture in Goa,” the villagers added in the resolutions.
These villages also resolved that the Taluka and Zonal Agriculture Officers should be delegated with more financial and revenue powers, such as in the case of control over Tenant Associations and quick release of subsidies, so that these officers can provide better support and guidance to the farmers and ensure timely implementation of the policy.
“The issues that farmers face mainly are related to subsidy and high cost of labour as well as difficulties in marketing their product after harvest,” Mascarenhas added.
Incidentally in Cansaulim, a farmer lamented that the Konkan Railway projects in the village make it impossible for some of the farmers to use their machines in the field for mechanised farming.