State’s farmers turn to technology, research to weather nature’s vagaries | Goa News
Panaji: Cyclone Tauktae left Goa’s agricultural sector devastated, leaving horticultural crops uprooted and causing fruit to fall, as well as a trail of destruction. The agriculture department set statewide losses at Rs 30 crore.
Farmers who had opted for late rice planting were most affected, as water thickening due to rain along with high-speed winds flattened crops in many areas.
Vegetable crops such as lady, twig, and sweet potato were damaged by waterlogging in the fields, while mango, banana, and coconut plantations were damaged by Tauktae cyclonic winds.
As a result, scientists and agricultural experts have tried to take farmers by the hand on the road to recovery.
From the choice of crop varieties that are more resistant to climate change to the application of mechanized media technologies such as transplanters and harvesters, changing weather parameters call for a paradigm shift in traditional farming practices.
“Mitigation adaptation measures are essential for farmers to be better prepared to deal with the forces of nature,” said Parveen Kumar, director of the ICAR-Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute.
A vital form of resilient technology that has been offered to farmers is Agromet Advisory Services (AAS) every three hours to keep them informed of weather variations. This bulletin is one of the largest agrometeorological information programs in the world that collects and organizes information on climate, weather, soil and crops and merges them with weather forecasts to help farmers take appropriate measures to prevent crop loss.
On their respective farms and orchards, farmers have been filling in the gaps by replanting new crops instead of those uprooted by Tauktae last year. While it is likely that these crops will take three to five years to become trees, farmers are making sure that the damaged land will be fruitful again under the direction of the technical officers of the agriculture department, the scientists of the ICAR-CCARI and the experts of the Agricultural Technology Management Agency. .
Some farmers believe that going back to their roots and removing a leaf from history could protect them from nature’s ambush.
“We used to grow salt-tolerant rice varieties like Korgut and Xitto that were resistant to rainwater flooding in the fields. Because their yield is lower and varieties like Jaya and Jyoti give more yield, farmers they decided to cultivate them. Our ancestors knew what works for the soil of Goan, so it was time to learn something from them and change the variants, “said community farmer Agnelo Furtado of Chinchinim.
Others, however, have a more cautious view of the future of agriculture in the state.
“I have given up my crops after facing multiple losses over the years, not just Cyclone Tauktae. Many of us are still waiting for government compensation for the loss of our crops. The only safety net now is to get crop insurance to make sure we don’t face significant financial losses given how unpredictable the weather is, ”said one Sattari farmer.
“It would also be advisable to engage in grafting, vermicompost or other aspects of agriculture that are not directly affected by the climate,” he added.