01 Aug 2021  |   07:01am IST

Production curve of curvy Goan cucumbers slides

Land conversion, fruit fly infestation, labour shortage due to pandemic combine to keep the touxen out of the common man’s reach
Production curve of curvy  Goan cucumbers slides


PANJIM: This monsoon the seasonal Goan ‘touxem’ or cucumber has been sparingly seen in the market. The reason is a major decline in production of this Goan delicacy, resulting in cucumbers being sold at an average of Rs 20 a piece.

Dr Subhash Bhonsle, head of department of zoology of PES College Farmagudi, attributed various reasons for the decline in production of cucumbers. Earlier comunidade land was allotted to farmers for cultivation of cucumbers and that “xeti” tradition was carried on by generations.

But the new generation has chosen not to get into farming and instead opted for white collar jobs. A more serious factor towards decline in production is that comunidade land is getting converted for construction, decreasing the yield area.

Bhonsle also pointed out that another major reason for the decline in production is due to the fruit fly infestation in the Farmagudi areas in Ponda taluka. The majority of the crop has been attacked by these pests and hence it has caused loss to farmers thereby resulting in an increase in prices.

Vishram Gaonkar, ex-programme co-ordinator of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), North Goa said that sowing of the seed starts in May and the crop is water intensive while, the hilly regions face acute irrigation problems and some manage by getting water tankers which make it an expensive proposition.

This year cultivators adopted a new technique for crop production where the seeds were sown in plastic bags with soil and compost to save it from water logging and damage due to the excessive rainfall in the State. There is no cucumber farmers association for a consensus on sale price and farmers tend to sell their produce directly by the roadside.

Nagesh Komarpant, zonal agricultural officer, informed Herald that the cost of labour increased this year due to COVID-19 pandemic and so did the cost of getting stable water supply for production.

Along with these problems, water logging in certain areas led to the crop rotting and loss of yield. 

The solution, experts said, is better cropping techniques which will increase production and are not labour intensive and popularising this delicacy beyond Goa. There is a huge potential for these seasonal “touxim” and increased production will surely bring relief to the pockets of the Goenkar.


Iddhar Udhar