MARGAO: Fourty-four-year-old farmer Xavier Fernandes, who topped the list of maximum paddy rice production in Goa has appealed to Goans and especially young generation to go for agriculture in a large scale.
A resident of Assolda, Quepem, Xavier Fernandes, cultivates his paddy mostly on barren land, producing 40 tonnes of paddy rice per year on two lakh square meters of agricultural land.
He has proved that the traditional agriculture with some support of latest technology and planned system can lead you to unimaginable paddy rice production in Goa.
He has also proven that the agricultural sector in Goa is very much capable of giving you good earning.
Xavier who is standard 9 pass, had completed a course of pre-inland-waterways training for new entrants in the engine department conducted by the Maritime School, Britona.
Speaking to GT, Xavier Fernandes said, he started focusing on traditional farming after losing his job on a ship at Vasco.
He further informed that initially, he used to do farming only in the Quepem area. But later on, he decided to do paddy rice cultivation on the barren agricultural land in South Goa and engaged himself on a contract land basis at various places such as Chandor, Gudi Paroda, Navelim and Verna.
His yearly production of paddy rice is almost around 40 to 45 tonnes, he informed. As claimed by the officer of the agriculture department he is the number one farmer with regard to the maximum number of paddy rice production.
He also added saying, "My only aim is to make the best use of the barren agriculture land. I can bear the losses but agriculture land should not be kept barren. Last year I had to face losses due to heavy rains. But, despite that, I have not waited for the compensation and I continued with my cultivation."
Xavier has around 1.4 hectares of agriculture land at Quepem. Presently, he has taken more agriculture land on contract basis from South Goa. He is cultivating different varieties of paddy according to the seasons. He does 50 percent harvesting with the help of the harvesting machine. Xavier also takes the benefit of subsidies given by the agriculture department.
"Once upon a time, my family's financial situations were not very good. But now nearly 15 workers are working under me. I also have one tractor and three power tillers. I am lucky to get the inspiration to do farming from my forefathers," Xavier stated.
As informed by him, he had formed a 'Fernandes Self Help Group'. Last year out 45 tonnes of paddy rice he supplied 17 tonnes to Adarsh Krishi and 18 tonnes to 'Costa Industries'.
Appealing to the youth of Goa he said, "Engaged fully in the agricultural sector and you will definitely get the profit which you deserve to get. Due to the modern equipment in farming, we can achieve lots of things and lots of things can be simplified. Goa has lots of agricultural lands kept barren but if we bring this land under cultivation than lots of things can be changed. And, youth should come forward to bring this change in Goa."
Xavier thanked Zonal officer of Quepem Agriculture department Sandesh Raut Desai, besides other officers for the support given to him.
"My only aim is to make the best use of the barren agriculture land. I can bear the losses but agriculture land should not be kept barren."
- Xavier Fernandes, paddy farmer