Cultivating Growth: Preparing for the Kharif Crop in Salcete

As the rainy season draws near, farmers in Salcete are busily preparing their fields for the upcoming kharif paddy crop. Across the southern taluka, the landscape is dotted with the sight of farmers burning weeds and tilling their lands in anticipation of the monsoon’s arrival. The recent pre-monsoon showers in the state have provided encouragement to farmers to begin sowing the paddy crop. According to a senior officer from the state’s agriculture department, these showers are crucial for establishing the nursery where paddy crop seedlings are nurtured for approximately 25 days before being transplanted into the fields on a larger scale.

The agriculture department has been promoting the system of rice intensification (SRI), a method that reduces the transplanting period from 25 days to 10 days by spacing out young seedlings more widely. Although this technique is heavily subsidized, it is practiced by only a few farmers. Another option for farmers is to arrange for mechanized rice transplanting through government-approved agencies, but this requires careful planning as orders must be placed four months in advance due to high demand. Sources within the agriculture department note a growing trend in Salcete towards expanding agricultural cultivation, with increasing amounts of fallow land being brought under cultivation in a systematic manner. Zonal agriculture officer Shariff Furtado emphasizes the enthusiasm of the younger generation for agriculture, noting their eagerness to cultivate their land despite engaging in other occupations such as overseas employment, government jobs, or private service.

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