PANAJI: Goa Forward Party (GFP) President Vijai Sardesai today slammed the BJP Led state government for failing at doubling the farmers income, while stating that the government has exibited it’s lack of ability to draft a comprehensive policy and road map to achieve this goal.
“Not only has the government failed at doubling the farmers income, it has clearly exhibited its lack of ability to draft a comprehensive policy and road map to achieve this goal,” said Sardesai
He further said that in December 2020, the Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant had said “We have worked out a roadmap, the implementation of which will result in the doubling of the farmers’ income by 2022,”.
He further said that the draft agricultural policy document cites census data from 2006 and 2001. For example, the document states that gross cropped area is 1,62,505 ha as per 2012-13 report.
“The performance report tabled during the monsoon session states that the area under cultivation is 1,44,792 ha. It would be more useful to rely on the most recent census and agricultural data to provide a current and relevant view,” he added
Sardesai said that the lack of vision, mission, objectives and a well-defined structure: The introduction appears to be a mix of statistics, challenges, potential areas of growth, and broad goals.
“It could benefit from a clearer structure that systematically presents the current situation, the challenges, the vision, and then, the goals. Without definite goals, the rest of the document too suffers from lack of a coherent structure,” he added
The GFP Chief said that a set of measurable and well-defined goals and targets would have help structure all the proposals in the document in the form of a road map to achieve the targets.
“A significant portion of farmers in goa are small farmers, especially women, who are unable to avail the schemes, crop insurance or assured prices due to their small land holdings and/or lack of ownership documents,” he added
Vijai said that there is no distinction made between small and large farmers in the document. As a result, there is no solution to the unique issues faced by such groups.
“o provision to provide or enhance support price: Although the document states that “State Government gives Support Price/Assured Price to produce like Cashew/Arecanut/Coconut etc.” he added
The Fatorda MLA said that the fact is that the government neither provides support price nor is there any provision in the draft policy to annually review the support price given to farmers.
Meanwhile, Sardesai said that in order to increase the income of existing farmers, we propose to encourage such farmers to take up hybrid farms by implementing measures to make such small farmers eligible for existing schemes.
Also, dairy, poultry and piggery must be brought under the definition of farming so that a farmer can take a single loan on such activities in their hybrid farms.
“We also suggest proposals for the development of efficient marketing infrastructure, expanding the role of horticulture corporation, developing a market intelligence system and consumer awareness so that the government can share the burden of selling the produce to the customers at the time and place that offers the best price to the farmer,” he added