Mango-rich Goa plans to go commercial

| 18 June 1997 10:47 IST

Goa has potential not only in importing tourists from all over the world but also in exporting its rich variety of mangoes and related products.

Having 47 different variety of mangoes grown locally, the local state authorities have now decided to boost the mango production on commercial lines, applying scientific methods. The recently constituted horticulture corporation has taken the initiative.

At a seminar, jointly organised by the corporation and Devika Beverages of Dukes Mangola, industries minister Luizinho Faleiro added his own flavour by assuring to allot the 88,000 hectares of land, which is being reclaimed from Thapar-du Pont after disbanding its controversial Nylon 6,6 project, to set up horticulture estate.

Dr R V Gunjate, an exert on horticulture, feels Goa is the most appropriate place with favourable climatic conditions to grow Hapus (known as Alfonso here), as its origin is found here. "Goans should now grow it on commercial lines like in the neighbouring Konkan region of Maharashtra", he feels.

Mangoes have tremendous export potential, especially the fruits and jam, opines U V Bhat of Presto Foods. There is no enough production to serve the needs of local small industries, especially the soft drinks and food processing units, complains Datta Naik of Devika Beverages.

The official figures indicate that only 3600 hectares of land in Goa is under mango cultivation, producing only 10 tonnes per hectare. While 58,000 hectares of land is still lying barren, the experts have now mooted a proposal to utilise 10,000 hectares of it for mango cultivation.

Horticulture has more employment potential than the hi-tech capital intensive industries the state is presently concentrating upon. It can also serve the local tourism industry, opines Dr Ajit Shirodkar, a farm owner.

Accepting the suggestion made by Dr Nandkumar Kamat, a local scientist, the horticulture corporation is now preparing an action plan for next five years, with active co-operation from the task force comprising of the government officials, industrialists, farm growers and scientists.

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