1. Agriculture World

Farmer in Canacona Helps Community Reap Bumper Pepper Crop with Innovative Techniques

Farmer helps the community in Canacona boost bumper pepper cultivation by using innovative technology such as polyhouse.

Binita Kumari
Bumper Pepper
Bumper Pepper

Farmers in Canacona taluka (Goa) are reaping rich dividends of innovative black pepper farming which is being hailed as an outstanding achievement by agricultural authorities all over the world. 

Officials reported that on an annual basis an average of 200 tons of black pepper is produced by Canacona farmers. Ajit Pai is among the farmers from Khawat who practice the unique ‘vertical column’ technique in a polyhouse that yields produce three times every year. Pai aid that using this method, he has cultivated around 12,000 plants at an ultra-high-density area of one foot by one foot. He also said that the yield of green berries was around 2 tons last year. After drying, he collected around 70 percent net produce for an average rate of Rs 450 per kg. He also mentioned that the bush pepper variety brings up to 12 lakh annually. 

The main advantages of using polyhouses for cultivation are that the climate conditions, irrigation, and fertilization can be controlled manually. Additionally, harvesting requires less labor.

Pai runs a farmer training center ‘Krishi Suvidha’, where he trains farmers on advanced technology and precision farming. He aims to attract the generation to agriculture with his training center. Many known agriculturists visit Pai’s farm, among which agriculture director Nevil Alfonso also visited the farm last year after being informed by the agricultural officer (ZAO) Canacona Nirti, Raj Naik Gaonkar. Alfonso was satisfied with the way Pai had taken up sustainable farming in Canacona. 

Officials admired Pai’s efforts of setting an example for the youth of Canacona. Gaonkar said that the farmers receive a government subsidy for the crops from State Sector Subsidy (SSS) and National Horticulture Mission (NHM). The subsidy received in the first year is Rs. 36,000 per hectare cultivation from SSS and NHM, while in the second year, it is Rs. 24,000. 

Pai said that agriculture is viable and sustainable only if there are multiple crops and integration of farms. Pai has also installed farming activities such as cow shelter for 250 stray cattle, backyard poultry, fisheries, rabbitry, rearing goats of different breeds, duck farms and beekeeping, etc. Pai’s latest venture is the plantation of about 750 kgs of Selam variety of turmeric. 

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