MARGAO: The Paddy Man of Goa, Fr George Quadros was all in smiles as he descended at the Saipem lake, Navelim with mechanised harvesters. Reason: Salpem lake farmers move to revive fallow agricultural fields after over three decades with the help and assistance of the Paddy Man has reaped huge dividends.
In fact, harvesting of a portion of the fields brought under cultivation for the first time in decades has registered a bumper paddy crop. In fact, around 4.5 tons of paddy has been harvested on day one of the harvesting operations. The balance portion of the fields will be taken up for harvesting after 20-25 days.
Villagers enthusiastically watch the harvesting operation
As a mechanical harvester did the job of harvesting the paddy, farmers as well as curious villagers watched the operations with keen interest. In fact, a couple of people who had returned home from London, all descended at the lake to watch the harvesting operations.
“Normally, you don’t get anything when you revive the fields after a long gap. But here we are sure to get profit and cover the cost. We are sure to get much more when the second round of harvesting takes place after 20-25 days,” Fr George said.
He added: “The bigger area is left for harvesting and the farmers can expect more yield. People have helped us today and we are looking for their help in the days to come.”
Saying the harvest on one-third of the cultivated area is excellent, Fr George said, “The grain is excellent. It is totally organic. The farmers are all happy. Some of them have come back from London and straight to the fields.”
Farmers decide not to sell the paddy
He added: “The farmers have decided not to sell the paddy. Instead, the farmers will keep the organic rice for self-consumption.”
Chairman of the Navelim Village Development Committee, Joao Souza expressed happiness to see the bumper harvest of paddy. “The Navelim village development committee and biodiversity committee had taken the initiative to revive the fields after 40 years which were lying fallow due to indiscriminate discharge of sewage with the support of Goencho Xetkar who carried out the harvesting with their brand new harvester,” Joao said.