With the coronavirus pandemic taking a toll on Goa’s tourism-dependent economy, a government-backed study, released Wednesday, called for a push for agriculture and agro-based activities to spark an economic revival from the village level.
The study’s focus was on encouraging the youth to take up agriculture-related activities and convert fallow lands to productive green patches.
It was conducted through 25 colleges under the Directorate of Higher Education and was supported by Goa Institute of Public Administration and Rural Development.
The study identified multiple short-term goals to revive the economy—simplification of the Krishi Card process, direct procurement of vegetables from farmers, e-marketing of rural produce, revival of water bodies, and training for setting up piggeries, goat rearing and rabbit farming. The long-term goals include construction of sluice gates, encouraging contract farming, and enactment of a contract farming law.
A statement from Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s office acknowledged the pandemic’s effect on the state’s economy: “The wheels of the Goan economy, heavily dependent on the service and tourism sector came to grinding halt. The fiscal challenges before the government brought out some innovative strategies…”
The objective behind the study, according to the CMO, was to “to analyse the potential for revival of sectors related to agriculture, animal husbandry, fishery, horticulture, tourism, MSME, traditional means of livelihood”, and to “ study the possibilities of Institutional Strengthening at the village level”.