The three-day Hilly Vegetable Festival which concluded on Monday was organised by Directorate of Agricultures, Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA), South Goa was held at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao. The festival was inaugurated by Agriculture Minister, Ramesh Tawadkar in the presence of director for agriculture and state nodal officer of ATMA, Ulhas Pai Kakode and project director of ATMA, Nevil Alphonso.
Nevil Alphonso said: “The main objective of this festival is to promote vegetables of hilly areas, its production process and to spread awareness about value addition. These things are actually meant for farmers in the hilly areas, so that they should know the procedure of cultivation and growth of various vegetables and fruits. Also, farmers are not aware of how they can earn more by processing the grown items, like extracting oil from coconut that can help them earn more.”
He informed that there are different technologies required to cultivate, plough, harvest, which were displayed at the festival. “Fifty self help groups and 25 private companies had participated along with Directorate of Agriculture, Directorate of Fisheries, and Directorate of Animal Husbandry. We also organised vegetable cultivation competition for fixed crops where 108 farmers participated, and vegetable carving competition for students before this Festival.”
He further informed that Hilly Vegetable Festival was organised around six years back, and it was stopped in between for some reasons.
Kishori Gaonkar and Kalpana Gaonkar from Bal Shakti Self Help Group had put up their stall at the festival. “Our group comprises of 20 women. We plant ridge gourd, cucumber, musk melon, and other seasonal vegetables like aalu, karande etc on hilly regions. We have come from Dabal,” says Kishori Gaonkar. The group also sold kokum, food items and even imitation jewellery.
It was the first time that ATMA conducted training and demonstration programmes on vegetable carving, chilly cultivation, vermin-compost preparation, sea shell crafts, organic farming, jam preparation and mushroom cultivation during the festival which caught many eyes at the festival.