GOA: For over 50 years now, the heritage khazan fields of Shirgao, Bicholim, have not yielded an abundant crop. “Fifteen to sixteen of us took up paddy cultivation this year in 30 ha of 40 ha khazan land in the village. Bringing it back under cultivation was tremendous hardwork. We were hoping for a good yield this season, but heavy rains and accumulation of water in the fields has affected the crop,” said 65-year-old Dinanath Gaonkar, whose dream is to see the fields turn green again, just as in his childhood.
“The WRD had begun work of desiltation of fields, water bodies and had taken up repair of the sluice gates and bunds. But due to various restrictions imposed because of Covid-19 pandemic, the work could not be completed,” said sarpanch Bhagvant Gaonkar.
“The siltation from mine waste meant loss in productivity of crops. There was not enough water in the local bodies too for irrigation. This badly affected agriculture, fishing and other traditional occupations. Farmers here had to switch over to non-farming activities. From self-sufficiency, the village’s agriculture-based economy stood crippled,” said Gaonkar.
The News24 Goa