PANAJI, Goa state, The Goa state government is considering bringing a legislation to facilitate contract farming in the state, state Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai has said.

The move will allow corporates, individuals or institutions to tie-up with farmers and cultivate their land, he said.

Last month, the Centre (Central government) unveiled a model law on contract farming and services not only in agriculture crops but also in livestock, dairy and poultry products.

The law is aimed at ensuring better price to farmers.

The Goa state legislation will be on the lines of the Central government law, Sardesai said.

The process of giving a final shape to the legislation has been initiated in association with the revenue department, the minister said.

“The legislation will provide security of land to farmers, while it will also enable corporates or individuals to invest in farming. The basic idea is to get barren lands in the state under cultivation,” Sardesai told PTI.

The law will allow farmers to share risks associated with agriculture with other entities or individuals, he said.

“Corporate entities will share the risk of farmers because of their strong economic position.”

The legislation will help bring lands currently lying barren under cultivation, the minister said.

“The agriculture and revenue departments will jointly make an effort to bring a contract farming act in the coming assembly session,” he said.

“I have directed my department to start consultations with the revenue department to evolve a model contract farming act for Goa state.”

The proposed law envisages corporates, individuals or institutions tying up with farmers to cultivate their land, he said.

“The rights of property remain with farmers. They will get a guarantee that their relationship (with corporates) will be secured for a certain amount of time.

“The government will only act as a guarantor and ensure agreements signed by the interested parties are honoured,” the minister said.

Sardesai said the implementation of the proposed law will be an “inter-department work” as the revenue department, too, will come into the picture.

The law will make it mandatory for investors to follow the existing cropping pattern, he said.

However, Sardesai admitted that contract farming is not the panacea for all the ills plaguing the agriculture sector in the state.

“We have disjointed (land) holdings so we have to coalesce contract farming with community farming. The state government will encourage community farming,” he said.

To bring more land under cultivation in Goa, contract and community farming will have to go hand-in-hand, said the minister.

Source: NAM News Network