Best Viewed in Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome



Goa Govt gears up for kharif crop, more land under SRI

Gearing up for the kharif paddy crop this monsoon, the agriculture department is trying to raise the area under SRI (system of rice intensification) in Goa to an unprecedented 1,000 hectares in the uplands, agriculture director P Tufani said.

Last year, the area under SRI in Goa was hardly 150 hectares. But for the rabi paddy crop, the agriculture department took special efforts to raise awareness about the advantages of SRI among Goan farmers. Those efforts are bound to yield fruit now, Tufani said.

In the 'Atal Gram' (model village) of Netravali, the department had a crop cutting competition of SRI plots in the last rabi season. The yield ranged from 6.5 tonnes per hectare to about 12 tonnes per hectare.

"Considering that the conventional method gives yields of about four tonnes per hectare, we can expect 1.5 times more paddy production in SRI," Tufani said.

But overall, the agriculture department hopes to cover about 30,000 hectares under paddy cultivation this kharif season. Last year, it was 28,830 hectares.

The three government-licensed agencies for the supply of seeds have sold almost 353 tonnes of paddy seed so far. The agencies are Goa Bhagayatdar, which has 18 outlets, Krishi Bazaar, Mapusa and Pernem taluka society, which has about 10 outlets. Most of the seed sold is of the Jyoti and Jaya variety and the agencies are prepared to procure more seeds depending on demand.

Besides, the agriculture department procured 13 tonnes of Karjat-3 paddy seed and sold it through its zonal agricultural offices. The department also procured other varieties of paddy seeds in small quantities. These varieties include Aishwarya, Kunjukunju Varna, Kanchana, Prathyasa, Samyuktha, Vaisakh, Naveen, Sonshalu and Warangalshalu.

Tufani said small quantities of these seeds have been supplied to the department's farms at Margao, Ela (Old Goa) and Mapusa and also to progressive farmers across Goa. The department will conduct multi-locational trails on these varieties of seeds which have been procured from Kerala agricultural university and the regional agricultural research station at Pattambi, Kerala.

The agriculture department has arranged for the availability of fertilizers through various agencies including private dealers.

Source: (June 18, 2014)

To know more about SRI click here


Charmo takes a toll on paddy in Bicholim, Sattari

KERI: Rice blast fungus locally known as charmo has damaged paddy crop in many areas of Bicholim and Sattari talukas.

Though the zonal agriculture officers at Bicholim, Sattari and Sakhali have taken needful steps, information about the disease was not provided in time.

Magnaporthe grisea, also known as rice blast fungus, rice rotten neck or rice seedling blight is a plant-pathogenic fungus that seriously affects rice.

Initial symptoms are white to gray-green lesions or spots with darker borders produced on all parts of the shoot, while older lesions are elliptical or spindle-shaped and whitish to gray with necrotic borders. It also affects reproduction by causing the host to produce fewer seeds.

Navalo Zore from Vantichemol of Ghoteli in Sattari told TOI, "Our crops are affected badly by charmo. My family and I have worked hard but rice blast fungus would drastically reduce the yield and cause heavy losses. We are landless and our investment this year has proved futile."

Kishor Bhave, the zonal agricultural officer of Sattari, said, "As soon as our officials received information, we made sincere efforts to providing tricyclozole chemical free of cost to the affected farmers. In some cases, tricyclozole has helped farmers to get rid of the affects of charmo."

Shashikant Malik from Kudne said, "This year farmers with more than 5ha are worried that our hardwork will not yield much fruit as the paddy is affected by blast fungus."

Dasharath Morajkar, social activist from Pelavade-Ravan in Sattari, said, "Since the losses will not be compensated under the Shetkari Aadhaar Nidhi Scheme initiated by the government of Goa, farmers are under further stress."



'Makam' rice ideal to replace 'Jyoti', say ICAR scientists

PANAJI: 'Makam', a new red kernel rice variety, is an ideal replacement for age-old traditional 'Jyoti' due to certain traits, especially as it is non-shattering and has better nutritive value and marketability.

Indian council of agricultural research's (ICAR) agro scientists point out various advantages of 'Makam', which is now being grown by farmers in Chorao, Amona, Dhulapi, and Bhironda in North Goa and other places.

 ICAR's Krish Vigayan Kendra celebrated 'Field Day' at Quitula, Aldona, to demonstrate to farmers the advantages of growing 'Makam' using the SRI system of planting of 10-12 day old seedlings. "Two separate areas in a square metre each of the field grown with 'Makam' and 'Jyoti' were framed with bamboos. The number of seedlings and the number of stalks or tillers on each one, the length of the panicle, the number of grains per panicle were counted and the weight of the grain measured," H R Prabhudesai, subject matter specialist (agronomy) KVK said.

Similarly, the yield in the patch grown with 'Makam' was found to be 7.8 tonnes per hectare as compared to hardly 3 to 4 tonnes per hectare of 'Jyoti'. A total of 14 farmers had grown 'Makam' in their fields, but other farmers were unwilling to try the new variety. "There is lot of resistance among farmers to try new varieties. 'Makam' variety has superior traits as it is non-shattering while 30% of the 'Jyoti' grain is lost in the field before harvesting," Prabhudesai said.

The other farmers in Aldona were shown the advantages of growing 'Makam'. Farmers all over the state have become traditional growers of 'Jyoti' variety to its taste. Jyoti also has good nutritive value like 'Makam', but it is vulnerable to pests and diseases unlike the latter. 'Makam' also has better marketability unlike white kernel rice like Karjat-3.

Farmers using SRI method of cultivation can transplant the seedlings without uprooting them after just 12 days instead of more than 20 days. The seedlings are equally spaced while planting in 25cm by 25cm per seedling instead of two or three seedlings clusters. Inaugurating the 'Field Day' on October 2, 2013, N P Singh, director, ICAR, Old Goa, highlighted the concept of rice-based cropping system [RBFS] homestead farming, integrated farming system [IFS] which seeks to integrate crop and animal component to produce not only vegetable, fruit, and pulse but also animal product like milk and eggs by integrating poultry component as a backyard. The Aldona sarpanch appealed to farmers to take advantage of the latest technology for better production. At the outset, V Y Gaonkar, programme coordinator [i/c] KVK briefly mentioned the KVK mandate. The stakeholders namely, Prema Naik, Laxmi Sawant, Chandrasekhar Kandolkar, Vishnu Matondker and Isaac Fernandes shared their experience of growing 'Makam' with SRI technology.

Courtesy :


Taleigao farmer harvests first Basmati crop in Goa

    PANAJI: A shot at growing long-grained scented Basmati rice has succeeded for the first time in Goa with nearly one tonne of the famed rice harvested by a farmer.

The Pusa 1171 Basmati variety has not been harvested in the hinterland farming regions as one would expect but close to Panaji city in Taleigao.

A farmer Cesar Machado has managed to harvest over 800 kgs of Basmati rice in his field admeasuring 2,700 sq metres. He is very satisfied with the yield of 16 bags (each bag weighing at least 60 kg) claiming that it is beyond his expectations because he was not sure whether Basmati rice could even be grown. The rice will be sent to Belgaum, he said, as Goa lacks the facility to mill it. 

Machado also disclosed that every year like others, he too undertakes cultivation of Jaya, Jyoti and Revati, the three main varieties of locally-grown paddy. However, this Kharif season he decided to “try out something new” and procured by courier 30 kgs of seeds of Basmati rice from Amritsar. 

The seeds were sown on June 29 and harvested in September-end. Cultivation was smooth without much trouble, except for the unseasonal heavy rain which wiped off one fourth of the crop. After the rains, the water refused to dry up so that part of the crop got damaged.  Nonetheless the undamaged crop is “good Basmati” which has been kept in the hot sun for drying, given plenty of airing and is stored for about two months in the farm shed after which it will be sent for de-husking and polishing.

Machado also disclosed that growing Basmati is very satisfying since his field gave out a pleasant scent while the stalks were in bloom. However he has not thought about whom to sell the crop to and what price it will fetch since he is presently only concerned about getting help in transporting the rice to Belgaum for milling.

The total cost of cultivating the 16 bags, he said, worked out to Rs 6,000 including labour costs during sowing, replanting, organic manure, harvesting, etc. The seeds were free of cost as they were given by a friend in Amritsar who “persuaded him to try out the fragrant rice for the first time.”

Machado adds that the Indian Council of Agriculture and Research (ICAR) has been very supportive during his efforts and helped in soil testing and gave advice on manure and other matters during each stage of the cultivation.

Machado also disclosed that they have been growing paddy along with vegetables and onions depending on the time of the year in their ancestral land. Despite the surrounding buildings and land getting water logged, he is among one of the few farmers who has continued with farming activities and has also been encouraging others in the Taleigao farmer’s club “not to give up.”

H R Prabhudesai, agronomist, ICAR, Goa said that cultivation of Basmati rice was tried in the 1990s but because of the absence of milling facilities, they could not support farmers. Further he said that the locally grown rice will be slightly less fragrant than the crop in Dehra Dun because of weather conditions.  Meanwhile, Machado hopes the agriculture department helps in transporting the crop for milling.

Courtesy :


Paddy cultivation declined by 9% in last seven years

PANAJI: Paddy cultivation in Goa has declined by 9.5 per cent in the last seven years, which may not pose an immediate threat to food security but its long-term impact could be disastrous for the state.

Agriculture director P Tufani said the long-term effect of the declining paddy cultivation could be disastrous for the state.

Rough estimates of the directorate of agriculture indicate that there has been decrease in land cultivated for paddy crop. The arable land has declined to the extent of 4900 hectares in the last seven years from 2005-06 to 2011-12, and on an average annual production per tonne has come down to


Paddy cultivation has fallen by 9.5 per cent for the period 2005-06 to 20011-12 and production has declined by 17.1 per cent.

Today’s youngsters are shying away from farming and there has been rise in khazan land, which could be perilous for food scarcity in near future, Tufani said.

He said the state has never conducted a comprehensive survey on cultivable and fallow lands, so it has been proving difficult to come to definite statistical figures. Nevertheless the agriculture department every year conducts rough estimates of area cultivated and average yields of major crops.

Agriculture sector stands third after tourism and mining in importance for Goan economy, and provides livelihood to some 50,000 people of the total population.

Officials in the agricultural department said industrialisation and enhanced importance to tourism and mining have relegated the farming to third position in the state As a consequence, the number of people involved in agriculture is declining steadily.

The rough estimates point out that the cultivable land has been going down, which has been attributed to various reasons. There has been rise in khazan land and breaches of embankments, which lead to inundation of paddy fields with saline water.

This situation has affected annual production.

Moreover, those farmers who had been raising high-yielding food crops like rice have stopped cultivating the land due to shrinking demand for their produce.

Ruing that our youths aspire to take up white-collar jobs and shy away from farming, Tufani said if agriculture is neglected then one day food scarcity will stare us in the face.

Farmers, who once cultivated land, have said that they quit farming due to shortage of farmhands.  

Oftentimes wild animals destroy standing crops causing huge losses to farmers.  Sometimes rainfall is also erratic, which adds to the worries of farmers, who have to shell out more to pay farmhands.

Why a farmer should cultivate paddy fields when the government provisions the rice for ` 3 per kg on ration, asked some farmers.

They said the cost for cultivation of an acre is ` 8500.

Courtesy :


Pusa Basmati rice set for a comeback in Goa

Agricultural scientists in Goa are trying to revive the cultivation of Pusa variety of Basmati rice, which was tried unsuccessfully in the coastal state about a decade back.

India Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR) has been working with the farmers in Taleigao village near here to shift the paddy cultivation from normal to Pusa variety of Basmati rice, which has a high export value.

Initial attempts are garnering a good response with farmers coming forward to plant this variety and some even ready to cultivate it on a large area of land in Taleigao village, ICAR scientist Dr H R Prabhudesai said.

"This crop grows well in monsoons. The farmers who tried it are now fetching good results of this export variety of the rice," he said.

The variety, developed by Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI), was initially tried by farmers in the coastal state in 1990s, Prabhudesai said, adding that results were good but Goa lacked the facility to mill the rice.

State agriculture department cultivated 1,500 hectare of its land with this variety then, but later shifted to the conventional variety, the scientist said.

"The improper milling resulted in the rice getting cut into pieces which discouraged the farmers," he said.

The ICAR scientists reworked on their attempt this year and have been getting an encouraging response.

"Goa still does not have milling facility but the farmers have decided to visit nearing Ramnagar in Karnataka to mill the rice," he said.

Courtesy :


Goa hikes area of SRI rice cultivation this year

PANAJI: With the SRI technique of rice cultivation yielding a bumper crop on about 150 hectares last season, Goa is set to take a quantum leap in SRI by targeting 1,000 hectare this year.

P Tufani, director of agriculture told TOI that the SRI (system of rice intensification) technique gives one-and-half to two times the yield as compared to the conventional method and therefore the department of agriculture is promoting SRI with greater stress this year.

 The agriculture director listed several advantages why SRI is superior to the conventional system of paddy cultivation. The seed requirement is much less. While in the conventional system of rice cultivation the recommended quantity of seed is 16 kg per acre, farmers usually use about 20 kg per acre. But in SRI, the requirement of seed is only two kg per acre.

Said Tufani, "In SRI, the yield is minimum one-and-half times to two times. In the conventional system, the yield varies between 3.5 tons per hectare in khareef to four tons per hectare in rabbi. But where the yield is four tons per hectare in rabbi season in the conventional system, it will be six to eight tons per hectare in the rabbi season in SRI. Profits are much higher while the cost of cultivation remains the same."

In SRI, a single seedling which is about 10 days old is planted but high numbers of tillers (sprouts) spring forth from the single seedling. The earheads are longer than normal and the number of grains per earhead is much higher. Also, the weight of the grain is more and its quality far superior. Another advantage is that SRI technique requires minimum water for irrigation. That is why it is more popular the rabbi season from October onwards, Tufani said.

The SRI technique can be adopted for cultivating any variety of seed common in Goa like Jyoti, Jaya or Karjat3. In fact, Karjat3 gives a very high yield in the SRI technique.

This year, the department of agriculture is targeting to bring 31,500 hectare under paddy cultivation this khareef and 15,700 hectare in the coming rabbi season. But thisis the conventional system of paddy cultivation and targeting only 1000 hectare for SRI is still low. Tufani said the department is working to popularize the technique among farmers who are still not sure of its benefits.

Last year, the area under paddy cultivation was 31,255 hectare (khareef) and 14,575 hectare (rabbi). Last year the paddy production in Goa was 1.84 lakh tons in both the seasons.

Courtesy :


Beetle infestation hits paddy crops across Goa

PANAJI: The transplanted paddy crop in various parts of Goa has been severely hit by an infestation of an insect pest leading to major losses incurred by many farmers.

"The beetle infestation has been observed across paddy growing areas in the state, especially Sanguem and Dharbhandora talukas," N P Singh, director, Indian council of agricultural research (ICAR) Old Goa said.

The beetle is a voracious eater and, both the grub and adults gorge on the foliage and move on from one patch to another.

The freshly transplanted rabbi crop of barely 20 to 30 days has been found to be affected. "Many farmers have lost their entire crop in a few cases," an ICAR scientist said. It is also spreading to other talukas, like Ponda.

The shiny black 1mm size beetles with a shiny colour can be easily seen feeding on the foliage.

Two ICAR scientists from plant protection unit, R Ramesh and Marutha Dorai visited Neturlim and other areas in Sanguem.

Farmers have been advised to follow a few management practices immediately. "The crop should be sprayed with chlorpyrifos 20EC at the rate of 2ml/L of water or Lambda cyhalothrin 5EC @ 2ml/L of water or Monocrotophos @2ml/L of water if the incidence is severe," the scientist said.

The spray is to be repeated after 15 days.

In the early stages of the infestation, a spray of neem seed kernel extract @ 3ml/L of water can be effective, the scientist said. tnn

Courtesy :

Syndicate content
Copy rights | Disclaimer | RKMP Policies