Vasco: The Chicalim Youth Farmers Club (CYFC) reaped a bumper harvest of 3.2 tonnes of paddy for the third consecutive year.
The 30-odd members of CYFC cultivated a total of 15,000 sq metres of land in August. Despite challenges such as late tilling and sowing, unpredictable rains, and the sudden showers in early November, the CYFC members were hopeful of a decent yield of harvest.
The young farmers do not use any fertilisers or even organic manure yet reap a good harvest from the fields that they managed to revive two years ago. The fields were transplanted and harvested for the Jyothi variety by Greg Fernandes, a farmer from Nagoa, who used his mechanised machinery such as the transplanter and harvester to complete the process.
Traditional Goan ‘Pez’ or ‘Kanjee' along with mole and Khariacho (dry fish) was served to the people of the village who came to the field to help, support and encourage the enthusiastic young minds.
Plans to revive agriculture in South Goa
The CYFC members have plans to help revive agriculture not only in Mormugao taluka but in other talukas of South Goa as well. CYFC mentor and Chicalim Parish Priest Fr Bolmax Pereira expressed happiness to see the joy on the faces of young farmers at the time of harvest. “On the field, they are a handful, yet the harvest yielded is bountiful. This goes to show that reviving our fallow lands in Goa surely brings joy to every Goan. My appeal to all youth of Goa to get feet into the field and your hands will harvest abundant joy,” said Fr Pereira.
CYFC President Shogun Fernandes said it was great to see the grains from the crop which they had cultivated. “It feels amazing to see our yield. Our hard work has paid off. A special thanks to Fr Bolmax who guided us and gave us an opportunity to work in the fields,” said Shogun.
CYFC Treasurer Alisha Pereira said they had anticipated a good harvest. “However after the sudden and heavy rains in early November, our fields were inundated and the crops were bent. We did fear a loss initially, but thanks to the improved climatic conditions we did reap a bountiful harvest,” said Alisha.
'Their enthusiasm and interest give more energy to work'
CYFC member Stefanie Lucas enjoyed working with her friends in the CYFC field. “On the day of harvesting, the ride on the harvester was a thrilling experience. Seeing how modern machinery completes the job in no time is worth learning. I also enjoy filming the entire harvesting process,” said Stefanie.
CYFC Field Coordinator Jerrico Vaz said the entire paddy festival from ploughing to sowing to harvesting to winnowing and storage had been a tiring yet satisfying experience. “I am grateful to our elders, who are experienced farmers of our village, for teaching us the ways to get back to our roots and the land owners for allowing us to use their fields,” he said.
Chicalim parishioner Kenneth DSouza said he enjoyed working with CYFC. “Their enthusiasm and interest give more energy to work. The land, once barren, now looks green. Looking at the yield we got from the barren land motivates me to do more,” he said.