21 Apr 2017 12:52am IST
Devendra Gaonkar Valpoi
Sufiyan claims to be the first farmer in Sattari taluka to have taken up farming of various vegetables especially cabbage; he did so last year in Brahmakarmali in an area of 3000 sq mts
His passion for vegetable farming and his hard work have tasted success at last. This is a success story of a 35-year-old Sufiyan Shaikh from Velus, Valpoi who took to farming during his student days.
Sufiyan is involved in the cultivation of vegetables especially cabbage, which has proved to be a success.
For the last two decades, Sufiyan has been working in the field of agriculture. Passionate about farming, a young Sufiyan took to agriculture after passing his SSC exam.
Sufiyan claims to be the first farmer in the Sattari taluka to have taken up farming of various vegetables especially cabbage and he did so last year in Brahmakarmali in an area of 3000 square metres.
The produce includes cabbage, red vegetables, green chillies, brinjal, pumpkin, cucumber and radish.
He says it takes 30 days to carry out vegetable farming and 60 days for harvesting and informs that he spent around Rs 2.5 lakh to cultivate the same.
When asked as to what inspired him to take up cabbage farming, Sufiyan said during his visit to Karnataka, he was fascinated with the cabbage plantations there, and gave it a thought to grow cabbage in Goa. On his return, he first discussed the issue of cabbage farming with agriculture officers, who informed him that the conditions in Goa were not favourable for cabbage farming.
Despite all this, he still gave it a try and went back to Karnataka and purchased around 300 cabbage plants and grew the same without using fertilizers.
During the first harvest, his hard work paid off as each cabbage weighed five-and-half kg, which he supplied to Goa Horticulture Board. Following the success, he later again visited Karnataka to buy more such plants. And till now, he claims to have sold three tonnes of cabbage in the local market. Besides this, he also claimed to have sold 4,500 tonnes of green chillies and a ton of brinjal.
“I have not claimed any Government subsidy for vegetable farming and am against claiming the same. My aim is to do something on my own. I have grown almost all types of vegetables and have tasted success in producing the same,” says Sufiyan.
“Cabbage farming involves zero maintenance. Next year, I will grow more cabbage because it is more profitable and cost effective. A tray of 100 cabbage plants costs only Rs 70,” says Sufiyan.
“I am a son of a farmer and in future I want to expand my business. But at the same time the Goa Government especially the agriculture department needs to support and guide the farmers. But the agriculture officers are not interested in visiting our farms and in guiding us. In case of any plant disease, we are forced to visit Kolhapur to buy medicines and other sprays,” he informs.
“Goa lacks a soil and water testing lab. The state government needs to use modern technology in agriculture sector. Most Goan farmers are using the age-old method of farming. If we use modern technology, our vegetable business will be profitable and we won’t be forced to visit the neighbouring states to buy vegetables, Sufiyan added.