Though the Goa government has ambitious plans to improve the contribution of agriculture to six per cent of the state GDP, the existing figures of the farming sector are not encouraging.
The data provided by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has indicated that the area under production in North Goa is sliding rapidly whereas in South Goa it has remained stable, with a little growth.
The area under various plantations and horticulture crops in North Goa has seen a decline in the last three years, which can be a cause of concern for the government’s plan to trigger growth in this sector.
As per a report released by the NABARD recently, the total 63,130 hectares of area was under various plantations and horticulture crop in the year 2014, which increased to 63,478 hectares in 2015 but reduced to 54,946 hectares in the year 2016.
The figures of the year 2017 are yet to be compiled by the state agriculture department.
In South Goa district, the agriculture is showing a negligible increase with 49,633 hectares of area under various plantations and horticulture crop in the year 2014, went up to 50,244 hectares in the year 2015 and 50,504 hectares in 2016, it said.
Cashew nuts is the biggest crop that tops the list of its contemporaries but its area under cultivation is declining in North Goa while increasing in South Goa.
Cashew crop which is a gift to the coastal state from erstwhile Portuguese rulers covered 40,712 hectares in 2014, which decreased to 37,355 hectares in 2015 before showing a marginal increase at 37,603 hectares in 2016, it said.
The South Goa district had 18,724 hectares of area under cashew crop in 2014, which increased to 19,093 hectares in 2015 and 19,132 hectares in 2016, the report said.
“The area under vegetable cultivation is also showing a similar trend in both the districts. The vegetable cultivation is an important agricultural factor for the state, which depends on neighbouring Karnataka for its need of fresh veggies every day,” the report said.
The area under vegetable production in North Goa was 6,3130 hectares in 2014 which reduced to 3,338 hectares in 2015 and 3349 hectares in 2016.
In South Goa, the vegetable cultivation area was 3850 hectares in 2014, which went up to 3,963 hectares in 2015 and 4030 hectares in 2016.
Parrikar had recently said the contribution of agriculture to GDP has been increased under the BJP rule from minus grading during the fiscal 2011-12 to four per cent.
“It is projected to be six per cent in the years to come,” he said.
Parrikar had also said the agricultural growth in Goa has been facing some “impediments” due to several factors that are beyond the control of the government.moneycontrol