Impact analysis of Mechanization program for tribal paddy farmers of Goa
Agricultural Mechanization Program of Tribal Farmers of Goa
Goa is the smallest state of India in terms of size and fourth smallest in terms of population. The state has a geographical area of approximately 3,702 sq. km. The net sown area is around 40% and cultivable wasteland is around 12% of the cultivated land. Agricultural activities depend almost entirely upon the rainfall. But in spite of the low irrigation support these fertile areas have very high land productivity. The main staple food crop of Goa is Paddy followed by cowpea (Alsando), ragi (finger millet), mung and vegetable crops in rabi or wherever irrigation is possible Paddy again. The important plantation crops are coconut, cashew, areca and pepper, groundnut, turmeric, banana, pineapple and tuber crops are grown as inter crops in the plantations. Choice of farming as a profession in Goa is reducing due to increasing cost, non-availability of labor and falling productivity due to lack of timely inputs and maintenance. ICAR-CCARI, Goa under its Tribal Sub Plan Program entitled “Agricultural Mechanization for Small and Tribal Farmers of Goa” has distributed farm machinery and implements among tribal farmer groups to help them overcome the main problem of labor non-availability. Around 24 tribal farmer groups, 8 in 2011-12 and 16 in 2012-13 benefited through this program. A survey was conducted to obtain the feedback from the beneficiary farmers and to analyze the effect of this initiative on the farming operations. Significant saving in time and finance was achieved through the use of these equipment. Some constraints like lack of access roads and training in use and maintenance of the equipment were the constraints reported by the beneficiary farmers.