The once so popular and one of a kind agricultural technique utilized across the state, today is facing extinction.
Puran Sheti or silt based agriculture was once a major source of livelihood among the landless farmers in Sattari, Dharbandora and Bicholim. It involved use of only organic manure and no ploughing. However due to constructions and development in Goa, many farmers gave up this practice forever.
Verge of extinction
According to this report, 63 year old Narayan Paryekar from Tarir-Dhave on the bank of the Mhadei River, in Sattari is our only hope for the survival of the age old practice.
In the past, Puran Sheti was witnessed on either sides of the Mhadei River. Before the construction of the Vasant Bandhara (dam) Puran Sheti was practiced by farmers in 27 villages. However because of the dam, the water level rose thereby restricting the farmers from undertaking the farming activities.
“This primitive method of agriculture was practiced in the Western Ghats before the ploughing of fields was known,” said Prakash Paryekar, a researcher associated with Goa University.
The water resources department implemented Vasant Bandhara scheme. Nonetheless they did not compensate the Puran Sheti farmers. Sandip Nadkarni chief engineer of Water resources department said that the department has recommended measures to government to take steps for the affected families. However in the last 7 years nothing has been done.
Following the footsteps of other states
Bangalore was famously known as the “Garden City”, but today it is clearly a passé. It is tragic to see Goa moving in the same direction. Being a tourist destination, many Indians as well as foreigners visit the state, but do not face the setbacks of the long term decisions and development initiatives taken up by the respective authorities. I hope in the name of sustainable development the damage being done to our land and our people will reduce and avoid preceding to a point of no return.