The Goa government is planning to procure hybrid coconut seedlings for farmers to help them tide over the decline in coconut production in the state, the Legislative Assembly was told today.
“The Agriculture department is planning to bring hybrid coconut seedlings from other states in coordination with the Coconut Development Board (CDB), since the seedlings from private nurseries are sold at relatively higher rates,” Agriculture minister Vijai Sardesai stated in a written reply in the House.
He was responding to a query raised by the Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar (Congress).
Sardesai said the hybrid seedlings procured through the CDB will be sold to farmers at rates lower than the prevailing prices.
“The state government is aware of the fact that the production of coconuts is on decline to some extent due to lack of care (and) as a result of low wholesale rates prevailing during the past few years (except for the period of September, 2017 to March, 2018), making cultivation less remunerative,” the minister stated.
Sardesai listed various reasons like increased wages of farm labourers, scarcity of skilled labourers or coconut pluckers, increased cost of fertilisers/manures, damage due to monkeys and pests for the reduced production of coconuts.
The assured price of coconut had been increased from Rs 8 to Rs 10 apiece last year.