Integrated farming must get boost in Goa: Indian council of agricultural research

 The Indian council of agricultural research (ICAR), Old Goa, is working on plans to promote integrated farming to make the activity a revenue-earner for farming families to sustain themselves, director N P Singh said on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 30{+t}{+h} biennial workshop of the all-India coordinated research programme at Old Goa, Singh said that the state's kullaghar farming is one such unique and revenue-earning model of integrated farming.

"It is only a plantation-based activity," he said. If some entrepreneurship activities, such as dairy and poultry activities, are included, it can be even more profitable, Singh said.

The ICAR is planning to hold frontline demonstrations to help farmers to transform the present agricultural system into a farming system, as 60% to 70% are small and marginal farmers, who are lacking in resources to increase the scope of their activities.

Singh explained that besides rice cultivation, a gamut of activities like bee keeping, poultry, planting of fruit-bearing trees, etc, can be carried out to increase the farmers' income.

Earlier, North Goa MP Shripad Naik inaugurated the workshop and urged scientists to ensure that the research percolates to the farmers level. Recalling how the country was a land of milk and honey, he said agriculture was on the wane and fragmentation of land holdings was a major concern.

N P Singh said that 55% of Goa is under horticulture. The area under rice is about 43,000 hectares. Dairy farming is also another important activity, which Goa should promote, but is yet to attain self sufficiency, he said.

He said many farmers have not availed government schemes and bank loans, and there is scope for youth to enter the sector, but conditions need to be improved to attract them. The workshop will take stock of implementation of integrated farming in the country. [TOI]