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Goa Forward Party Calls for Comprehensive Overhaul of Agricultural Policy

Vijai Sardesai, Chief of Goa Forward Party, Criticizes Government’s Ineffective Approach to Doubling Farmers’ Income



Date: 16th August 2023

Panaji: In a scathing critique of the government’s agricultural policies, Chief of Goa Forward Party, Vijai Sardesai, expressed deep concerns about the lack of progress in doubling farmers’ income and highlighted the inadequacies in the draft agriculture policy. The party’s statement emphasized the urgent need for a more visionary, inclusive, and effective approach to revitalizing Goa’s agricultural sector.

The party’s evaluation of the draft policy pointed out several glaring issues that need immediate attention. Outdated data, a lack of well-defined objectives, and an absence of a comprehensive SWOT analysis were identified as key shortcomings. Sardesai noted the absence of differentiation between small and large farmers, failing to address the unique challenges faced by small-scale, particularly female, farmers.

Sardesai further criticized the draft policy for neglecting vital aspects like support price enhancement, climate change adaptation, and the engagement of the youth. He condemned the document’s judgmental tone towards the younger generation and its failure to incorporate modern IT-based solutions for communication, training, and marketing within the agricultural sector.

The party’s statement also underscored the absence of provisions for Farmer Producer Organisations and community farming, highlighting their potential to enhance productivity, resource efficiency, and market access for local farmers.

In response to these shortcomings, Goa Forward Party proposed a comprehensive set of measures aimed at boosting agricultural productivity, increasing farmers’ earnings, creating more job opportunities, and promoting environmentally sustainable farming practices. Sardesai urged the government to set ambitious yet achievable targets, including the cultivation of fallow land and the local production of a significant portion of the rice consumed in Goa.

The party’s proposals also included encouraging hybrid farming among small farmers, recognizing dairy, poultry, and piggery as integral components of farming, and developing efficient marketing infrastructure. Sardesai stressed the importance of expanding the role of the horticulture corporation, establishing a market intelligence system, and raising consumer awareness to benefit farmers.

Highlighting the need for increased investment, timely scheme disbursal, and village-level agriculture management plans, the party called for a greater allocation of the state budget towards agriculture and allied activities. Sardesai emphasized the importance of inclusivity, empowering marginalized sections, and learning from successful agricultural policies implemented in other states.

Goa Forward Party concluded by urging the government to engage in extensive consultations with stakeholders and draw insights from successful agricultural policies from other regions before finalizing the state’s new agricultural policy.