Canacona farmer helps community reap bumper crop of peppers and rich dividends with innovative technology | Goa News

Canacona: In an achievement that has been hailed by agricultural authorities, farmers in Canacona taluka are reaping rich dividends from the innovative cultivation of black pepper.
Officials said that an annual average of 200 tons of black pepper is produced by farmers.
Among these farmers is Ajit Pai from Khawat, Poinguinim, who practices the unique “vertical column” technique in a pepper-growing polyhouse that produces three times a year.
Using this method, Pai said he grew about 12,000 plants in a one-foot-by-one ultra-high density area.
Pai said that last year the yield of green berries was about two tons, of which after drying he managed to get about 70% net product at an average rate of Rs 450 per kg. He also said that the bush pepper variety fetches up to Rs 12 lakh per year.
The advantage of using polyhouses for cultivation is that one can control climatic conditions, irrigation and fertigation factors, while harvesting requires less labor, Pai told TOI.
Many farmers have visited Pai’s farm, which inspired him to establish a Farmer Training Center “Krishi Suvidha” where he provides training in advanced technologies and precision farming with the aim of attract the younger generation to agriculture.
After being briefed by Area Agricultural Officer (ZAO) Canacona Nirti Raj Naik Gaonkar, Agriculture Manager Nevil Alfonso visited Pai’s farm last year and was pleased with how he adopted the ‘sustainable agriculture.
Officials said Pai’s efforts have set an example for Canacona’s youth as well as the state.
Naik Gaonkar said farmers receive government subsidy for harvesting from National Horticulture Mission (NHM) and State Sector Subsidy (SSS). The grant for the first year is Rs 36,000 from NHM and SSS per hectare of crop, while for the second year it is Rs 24,000.
Agriculture is only viable and sustainable if there are multiple crops and the integration of farms, Pai said.
Apart from pepper, Pai has integrated agricultural activities which include goushalas for 250 stray cattle, backyard poultry, goat breeding of different breeds, fishing, rabbit, beekeeping, duck farms, etc
Pai has now planted about 750 kg of selam variety of turmeric.