Agriculture in Goa
is one of the important economic activities in the state. Located between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, Goa faces problems for enough cultivable land to feed its own population.The coastal areas are exposed to salinity and do not qualify as good agricultural areas, while the inland areas are not productive enough. So for its day-to-day needs of agricultural produce like vegetables, Goa is dependent on Karnataka andMaharashtra. However, approximately one-third of the total land in Goa falls under forest areas and yields substantial profits.
The government, however, has done much to improve and develop agriculture in Goa to make it more productive, thus enabling the farmers to get a better return for their labor. Rice and fish being the staple diet of the people, paddy becomes the principal crop in the scenario of agriculture in Goa. The important crops, apart from paddy, are ragi, maize, jowar, bajra and pulses. Cash crops like coconut, cashew-nut, arecanut, mango, jackfruit, banana, pineapple are also grown in abundance. Cashew is an important crop in Goa. A kind of intoxicating drink called Feni is produced from cashew. Sugarcane cultivation has been taken up only recently and a sugar factory has also been set up in Goa. A variety of mangoes are grown in Goa. Some of the famous Mango varieties are mancurade, mussarade, fernandine, xavier, alfonsa, colaco. There are two varieties of jackfruit grown here namely kapo (hard) and rasal (soft).
The vegetables that form a part of the agriculture in Goa are brinjal, lady's fingers, radish, cucumber, pumpkins, drumsticks, breadfruit and different varieties of gourds. Sweet potatoes, chillies, onions are also available.
Paddy being the principal crop of Goa, it is grown in two seasons, namely Kharif or sorod and the rabi or vaingan. The monsoon crops are called the kharif crops and the winter crops are called rabi crops. The main sources of irrigation for winter crops are the nallahs, rivers and streams, tanks, wells and canals. Crops grown in the Kharif season consist of paddy, ragi (locally called nachani) and some pulses. Crops grown in the rabi season are comprised of paddy, pulses like horse-gram (kulith), black gram (udid), a variety of beans and some vegetables.
The forest produce too makes up a significant part of the agriculture in Goa. The Government forest area is approximately around 1224.38 sq. kms, besides this, the forest land owned by private people and institutions is around 200 sq. kms. The important forests products are bamboo canes, Maratha barks, chillar barks and bhirand. The area planted under forest is 1424.38 sq. kilometers.
Last Updated on: 20th March 2013