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Govt wants students to take up farming

Panaji: To try and boost Goa’s diminishing agricultural sector, the state government is now focusing on students and trying to make agriculture an attractive and viable career option. The state government has succeeded in increasing the student intake from Goa from nine to 17 at the Dr Balasaheb Sawant Krishi Vidhyapith at Dapoli, Ratnagiri, agriculture minister Vijai Sardesai said.
The monthly stipend for students at Dapoli has also been increased to Rs 3,000.”We are trying to give the right impetus to agriculture and hopefully, by enacting laws on community farming and contract farming, agriculture will once again become appealing to Goan youth,” Sardesai said.
Sardesai was speaking at a function organized by the directorate of agriculture to distribute letters of admission to students who have cleared the exam to pursue agriculture and horticulture courses at Dr Balasaheb Sawant Krishi Vidhyapith, Dapoli. He noted with concern though that among the students selected, there was no one from the Salcete taluka or from the Christian community.Saying that an institutional framework was required to give agriculture a boost, Sardesai said that he would seek legal opinion to see how community farming and contract farming could be implemented in Goa by introducing a law. “Then all fallow fields we see today will be green again,” he said.Sardesai encouraged students to acquire conceptual knowledge of agriculture so that they could guide local farmers and help Goa become self-sufficient in food. [TOI]

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