Farmers-turned-entrepreneurs give malls in Goa a run for money

Written by PTI | Panaji | Updated: Mar 14 2013, 17:56pm hrs
FarmerWith their produce cheaper than malls and super-shops, the villagers are doing brisk business. (Reuters)
Away from air-conditioned malls and stores, a fledgling vegetable-based economy, scripted by farmers-turned-entrepreneurs, is booming alongside Goa's busy streets.

With their produce cheaper than malls and super-shops, the villagers are doing brisk business.

The stake-holders, mostly from villages surrounding the Agasaaim bypass, stumbled upon the trade after the then government took over their land for the project four years ago.

Tragedy struck Inacina Gonsalves (40) four years back when her land was taken over by then government for laying the detour. But that was the past. Inacina now earns her living by selling vegetables in the makeshift place along the very Agasaaim bypass which ploughed through the field that was once her own.

The bypass which took away the priced paddy field from Gonsalves family has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

"Four years back, we lost our paddy field for the bypass. The state government did not compensate us for the loss. But the blessing in disguise was this business", said

Inacina who sells variety of veggies grown on the remnant of her paddy field.

The detour was constructed to circumvent busy traffic along Pillar village, which houses a seminary, and is a seat for Catholic population.

Inacina started selling vegetables along the bypass after coming to terms with the loss after the government took over the land.

"I was left with no option but to carry vegetables and sit along the bypass, scouting for customers", she recalled.

Inacina said she was the first person to try the road-side business in the area.

Now, the bypass has more than 20 makeshift tables and huts set up by villagers of Goa Velha and Agassaim selling vegetables and most of them are affected by the bypass project.