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Organic farming in Goa to get boost through centrally sponsored clusters: Vijai Sardesai

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Minister Vijai Sardesai has said that Brand Goa in agriculture will give it much needed push. (Pic: Gaurang Prabhu Malkarnekar)

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GOA: Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai has said that “Brand Goa” in the farm produce on lines with “Whole Foods” in the USA which  would provide much needed impetus to the sector.

Sardesai also announced that the centre has sanctioned 500 Organic farming clusters for the State.

The minister was addressing state level seminar on “The Agriculture Sector in Goa: Towards Self sufficiency and sustainable development.”

Sardesai said that the State should work on United Nation’s Agenda about Sustainable Development Growth.

“This model has to be adopted by Goa. Goa has to have something like Brand Goa. The Brand Goa sells,” Sardesai said.

He gave an example of how Goa Gutkha which is not produced by a State based businessman nor manufactured in Goa is sold merely for its label.

“That Gutkha is neither produced in Goa nor consumed in Goa, but that person made so much money that he bought Vijay Mallya’s house,” he said referring to the purchase of KingFisher Villa at Candolim.

The minister said that the Brand Goa should come in the agricultural sector of the State.

“This brand has to come in agriculture sector  in which what we produce is not perhaps is not viable but completely organic and safe and we create a brand which is on lines with America you have something called as “whole foods”,” he said.

The minister said that Organic is going to be expensive and  also not be efficient in managing food requirements of the current times.

“(That is why) Government of Goa is going to enter into MoU with Israeli company wherein we will be creating Centre of Excellence (COE) for Organic agriculture,” he said.

“The COE  will teach farmers how to do Organic farming,” Sardesai said.

The minister said “People of Goa expect more from me. Normally Goans has got higher standard compared to other states of India.”

“The people of Goa also expects more. People of Goa expects agriculture department to have agriculture farming cluster. People should see with their eyes how organic it is,” he said.

Sardesai said that Self sufficiency has to come in agriculture. “The self sufficiency should not only be in the point of output but also in terms of quality,” he added.

The minister announced that Goa  have got allotment of 500 organic farming cluster. “This allotment has happened two days ago. We want to have organic clusters by using community farming,” he said.

“In Goa due to fragmented holdings, we cannot bring in contract farming straight away. Fragmented farming requires unification. We are going for community farming,” Sardesai said.

“Government is going to put all the infrastructure but you (farmers) have to come as a united group of community farming. Requirement for this is minimum 10,000 square metres,” he said.

“In my constituency I want all the farms to be cultivated and do it 365 days a year. Basic idea is Goan first and produce should be made in Goa. It is also role of agriculture department that farmer sells something which is also safe,” he said.

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Spotlight Today

People to react for LS, if mining doesn’t start: Vijai Sardesai

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GOA: BJP ally  Goa Forward Party (GFP) on Monday said that the people will “react during Lok Sabha elections”, if BJP fails to resolve the impending crisis on the mining industry.

GFP President and State Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai also equated the current mining issue to the “regional aspirations”.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi says  ek bharat, shreshta bharat. His statement is with regional aspirations in mind. If any party is not able to meet regional aspirations then we will not be able to get support of the people,” the minister said talking to reporters in Margao town of South Goa on Monday.

“Even the PM says so (about regional aspirations). So what is regional aspirations? Mining is the backbone of economy. It should start,” he added.

 “If mining crisis is not solved before Lok Sabha election, then people will react towards the BJP candidates,” he said.

Sardesai said that no amount of fire fighting by parties like GFP to support BJP candidate during Lok Sabha polls will work.

“Whatever statements we might make, the people will react during Lok Sabha election. How will you get the votes, if you don’t work to solve the issues of the people?,” he questioned.

Around two lakh mining dependents under the banner of Goa Mining People’s Front are agitating demanding resumption of the industry which has been shut down since last year due to Supreme Court order.

Ahead of historic Opinion Poll Day celebrations, Sardesai said the identity politics has gained much importance.

Goa had witnessed historical opinion poll in which the people had voted against the merger of former Portuguese territory into neighbouring Maharashtra.

 Sardesai said that on the eve of opinion poll day celebrations,  we need that the heroes who have maintained our identity should be recognized.

“If they are not recognized, people will not be with you. We (GFP) speak about identity politics. Goa retained its Goemkarponn (Goanness) due to Opinion Poll. If we had not to win that (Opinion poll), then we would have been just one taluka of Maharashtra,” he said.

“If we don’t accept it and don’t recognize in the history, then people will not be happy with you,” he added.

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Solution for mining impasse soon: Shah

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New Delhi: The  solution for current impasse on the industry would be brought about soon by the Central government, BJP National President Amit Shah told the delegation of Mining dependents and MPs.

The delegation of Goa Mining People’s Front along with all the three Members of Parliament – Shripad Naik, Narendra Sawaikar and Vinay Tendulkar, met Shah in New Delhi on Sunday.

GMPF President Puti Gaonkar, in a statement issued has said that Shah mentioned that the data about the loss of jobs, idle trucks and barges and bank Non Performing Assets is worrying.

“Shah assured that a solution to the present mining impasse shall be brought about soon by the Central government,” Gaonkar added.

“During the meeting on Sunday, Shah stated that the issue of livelihood faced by lakhs of Goans due to stoppage of mining activities in the State is known by all and that Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar and MPs of Goa have been following up with the Central government for a solution,” he added.

The mining industry in Goa has come to a standstill since March last year after Supreme Court quashed 88 Iron Ore extraction leases in the coastal state.

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Three critical in Cement Block manufacturing factory blast at Tuem

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Three workers were critically injured in a last at Cement block manufacturing unit at Tuem

Team Spotlight

GOA: Three workers were critically injured and six others had miraculous escape with minor injuries after a blast in a cement block manufacturing factory at Tuem Industrial Estate, this afternoon.

The incident happened around 12.15 noon when more than dozen of workers were present in the factory.

Pernem Police Inspector Sandesh Chodankar said that all three workers who were injured in the blast were taken to Goa Medical College and Hospital.

“Their situation is critical and being treated,” he said.

While Fire and Emergency Services rushed to the spot immediately, they cordoned off the place and extinguished the fire.

Chodankar said that the exact cause of blast would be known only after State Factories and Boilers Department submits its report.

He said that the offence of endangering human life would be filed against the owner and management of the factory.

Tuem Industrial Estate is located in Pernem taluka, which is bordering Maharashtra.

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