Panaji, Dec 24 (UNI) A special programme to officially launch the season’s strawberry cultivation by three self help gropus of Verlem and Tudav village of Netravali Panchayat in South Goa under the range of Western Ghat in hinterland area was held on Sunday.
The project of strawberry cultivation is assisted and initiated by Atal Gram Development Agency apart from monitoring the projects undertaken in Netravali under the Atal Adarsh Gram Vikas Yojana a central Government scheme.
While speaking on the occasion Member of Parliament from South Goa Narendra Sawaikar said time had come to think something different rather than mining and beach tourism industry.
He said mining business might not be able to run for the life time and restrictions would come in the industry from time to time.
Mr Sawaiker reiterated government’s commitment to support strawberry cultivation type of activity in a big way and called upon the youths to venture into the enterprise which was really lucrative.
‘The youths should make every attempt to protect the state’s identity. Goa itself is a brand. We need to work towards sustainable hinterland tourism with proper marketing and by protecting nature,’ he said.
Applauding the initiative and efforts taken by Atal Gram Development Agency under the able leadership of Project Director Vijay Saxena, Mr Sawaiker emphasized the need to take such unique projects in every villages.
He also congratulated the members of self help groups and villagers who participated in the scheme and actually worked on ground to bring the fruit in the goan market.
The Atal Gram Development Agency – Goa, is implementing the unique project which includes Financial Assistance for cultivation of strawberry at Verlem and Tudav in the jurisdiction of V P Netravalim. Three Mahila Self Help Groups — Shiv Shakti Self Help Group and Bhumika Self Help Group in Verlem and Uddengi Self Help Group in Tudav– have undertaken stawberry cultivation.
According to a statement, the scheme has benefited about 40 households in the villages of Verlem and Tudav. The cultivation of strawberry has covered an area of 4500 sq mts. About 30,000 high yielding varieties strawberry saplings of strawberry — Sweet Charlie, Kamaruja, Nabila, Winter star, Elina, San Andreas (SA) and R-2, — are cultivated by the Self Help Groups. The strawberry saplings have been procured from strawberry farms in Wai, Mahabaleshwar a famous hill station in Maharashtra. The strawberries will be produced in the village over a period of six months (November to April).
An exclusive irrigation system (drip irrigation) has been created for the cultivation of strawberry. The Agency has also provided hands on training to the farmers in the cultivation of strawberries through an accomplished strawberry farmers from Bhilare village, Panchagani Maharashtra. Training sessions of various duration have been held in Goa and Bhilare village. The Agency has also provided necessary one time logistic supports such as irrigation facilities, mulching paper, fertilizers & pesticides, ventury and hand spray pump etc. for undertaking the cultivation of strawberries.
Necessary marketing arrangements have also been made to promote the sale of strawberries. Exclusive outlets have been created in the jurisdiction of V.P. Netravali for sale of strawberries. The strawberries will be available at leading markets across the State at reasonable rates. The Goa State Horticultural Corporation Limited (GSHCL) has also agreed to undertake the sale of strawberry through its outlets across the State, the statement added.