ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Pink Gold: Transformation of Backwater Aquaculture on Goa's Khazan Lands

This paper explores recent economic and environmental changes in what had been an ecologically balanced subsistence production system in Goan coastal villages and, in particular, the socio-economic forces behind this reversal of productive strategies. In part, these local productive choices and their environmental impact are rooted in global economic forces and markets, seemingly far removed from the backwaters of Goa. Although there are many interrelated dimensions of this transformation, the author focuses on the growing importance of backwater pisciculture at the expense of agriculture and the fragile khazan environment.

The system of rice production and fish farming in Goa is now reversed. In the past fishing activities were secondary. The sluice gates (manos) were there to protect the rice fields, the khazans [from inundation]; the fields were not for the gates! The fields are now secondary, and catching fish has become one of the major economic activities in the village.


– Comment by Damodar Phadte,
head of the village Khazan Tenants Association, April 28, 1998

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