The switch over from manual transplanting operations to mechanization may have taken place on a small scale this season, but the smile is back on the farmers face and promoters of machinery-driven agriculture.
The department of agriculture has created a scheme to offer an attractive 75% subsidy to farmers on purchase of transplanters or other machinery. Along with that farmers may avail a subsidy of Rs 14,000 per hectare, which includes cost of the seedlings. This initiative was taken up by the department to boost the rapidly diminishing agricultural sector in Goa.
A more modest beginning had been made in the past couple of seasons in Goa. However from June this year, transplanters made the farmers work easy. Deployed in the fields, it has covered 80 hectares in the state’s coastal belt.
Zonal Agricultural Officer (ZAO), Dattatrey Pandit said, “An area of 200 acres lying fallow in Seraulim for about 25 years has been brought under cultivation.”
The director of agriculture department Ulhas P Kakode said that there has been a rise in demand for mechanization due to its cost-effectiveness and this will stimulate growth in the cultivation of paddy crops.
Many feel that delay in mechanization is the primary reason for the destruction of the agricultural sector in Goa. Harvesters were introduced in the state more than a decade back and spelt hope for revival of the paddy sector. However, the placement of transplanters to complete its revival has been slow. Officials from the agricultural department agreed that more machinery is needed to sustain the interest of the farmers and revive the sector, but the suppliers of machinery could not cope with the demand.
The rise in mechanical agriculture has sown the seeds of hope in the state. All that is left is to patiently wait to reap the benefits of revival of paddy crops.