Q You have had a difficult two years in office. What has been your administration’s prime focus?
A. Goa witnessed the launch of several infrastructure projects before I took over. My focus is on human development, especially in rural areas, in agriculture. We have extended Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)’ to build a ‘Swayampurna Goa (self-reliant Goa)’.
Q. How do you plan to achieve this?
A. Goa was fully dependent on neighbouring states for vegetables, fruits, milk and other commodities, even including chicken. When the national lockdown last year halted transport, we realised how helpless we were. We decided to change the situation. We have assigned a deputy collector level official to each panchayat to ensure [the benefits of] central and state government schemes reach farmers. These officials visit [the panchayats they are assigned to] every Saturday to help villagers get benefits of the schemes. As a result, we have succeeded in providing Kisan and soil health cards to all our farmers. We provided financial help to boost milk and fish production and floriculture. Now, we are exporting 20 per cent of our cauliflower and chilli produce to other states and will increase it in the coming days. We are also trying to enhance our manpower skills, especially in fishing and pharmaceuticals.
Q. Goa is celebrating 60 years of its liberation from Portuguese rule. How do you propose to mark this milestone?
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