Farmer. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

Panaji, Nov 30 : Agriculture as a rural economic activity has dropped from 60 per cent at the time of Goa's liberation in 1961 to a mere 16.6 per cent of the state's population, according to a government study.

'Agriculture land use planning - Goa' is a study compiled by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research and the Goa government's Directorate of Architecture, which has come forth with suggestions for efficient land use in Goa in order to enhance livelihood security in the state.

"Though agriculture is one of the major economic activities of the rural population in Goa, only 16.6 per cent of them are engaged in agricultural activities, as compared to the 60 per cent at the time of Goa's liberation and approximately 50 per cent at the time of Goa's statehood in 1987," the report said.

"Even in the 1960s, with about 60 per cent population engaged in agriculture, this sector contributed hardly 16 per cent ro the state's income, dwindling to 15 per cent at the time of statehood; the contribution of agriculture has declined sharply thereafter, now standing at a mere 7 per cent," the report said.

The report also said that nearly 82 per cent of the landholdings in the state are less than one hectare, which makes agriculture an unviable proposition.

"Nearly 82 per cent of the land holdings are less than one hectare. Due to increasing labour costs, cultivation of field crops, especially rice, is becoming unprofitable," the report stated.

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