Goa is soon likely to get an 'Organic Agriculture University', which would primarily focus on studying organic crops that could be grown in the state, Deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant Kavlekar said on Wednesday. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant gave an in-principle nod to the proposal during a meeting held on Tuesday, Kavlekar, who is also the state's agriculture minister, told PTI.
"The government has set a target of one year to set up the university, the first-of-its-kind in the state," he said. The varsity will focus on research and study of various organic crops suitable for the Goan soil, he said.
Kavlekar said he recently visited the Pune Agriculture College and the Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth at Rahuri in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district to seek inputs for setting up the organic agriculture university in Goa. The university will help in boosting the rural economy, which has been affected due to the halt of mining activities in Goa, he said.
"Currently, we have identified some areas for the project. The government is in the process of shortlisting some specific areas along with other legal procedures," he said.
The state government has appointed Dr Madan Gopal Varshney, dean of the Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth in Maharashtra, as chief strategist for setting up the organic agriculture university. "We have initiated a probe into the matter and checking the CCTV footages of the shopping mall where they had food. We have also contacted North 24 Parganas district police for this," the officer added.