Agri Business

Rising prices benefit Goa cashew farmers

Press Trust of India Panaji | Updated on May 23, 2011

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The low supply of cashew kernel in Goa this year, owing to unseasonal rain and heat, has increased its prices, finally benefiting the cashew growers in the State.

Cashews are being sold at Rs 82 a kg against Rs 60 last year.

The cashew farmers faced the brunt of unseasonal rain and erratic temperature this year, when cashew flowers were either flushed away with rain or burnt by the heat.

The State Agriculture Director, Mr Satish Tendulkar, said the projection of cashew production, which was high during the initial days of the season, plummeted due to natural factors.

The production of cashews, which was supposed to touch an average mark of 25,000 tonnes this year, will now hardly reach 22,000 tonnes. The season will come to an end soon.

“The cashew growers were apprehensive about the production due to prolonged rains, which destroyed cashew flowers even before it could grow well,” he said.

Goa's farming taluks such as Sattari, Sanguem, Quepem, Canacona, Ponda, Bicholim and Pernem has maximum cashew cultivation along the sloppy mountains, during summer.

Cashew, which was introduced in Goa by the Portuguese in the 16th century, mainly to control soil erosion and use in afforestation programmes, has now become an important cash crop in the State.

Alcoholic drinks such as fenny and urrac are extracted from the cashew apple, which rules the liquor business during this time of the year.

Farmers got relief from losses, as there was a shortfall in the imports of cashew kernel from African nations, which is a traditional market for various cashew processing units in the country.

“This resulted in the rise of cashew prices. They were sold for Rs 82 per kg as against the price of Rs 60 per kg last year,” Mr Tendulkar said.

The State Government records stated that although there is a significant increase in the area under cashew plantation, there has been no increase in its productivity.

In 1961, when Goa was liberated from Portuguese rule, there was 13,513 hectares land under cashew cultivation, which has now increased to 47,094 hectare. It is grown in an area of 47,094 hectares, which comes to 30 per cent of the total cultivated area.

Published on May 23, 2011

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