An increase in the market rate for cashew kernel has helped cashew farmers in Goa who were otherwise facing bleak prospects due to a reduced harvest.
Although cashew plantations had bloomed quite well, unseasonal rains and fluctuating weather played havoc as the flowers got flushed away in the rains or burnt with the heat.
While initial projection was that cashew production would be in the range of 25,000 metric tones, it is now not even expected to cross 22,000 metric tones.
However, as there was a decline in imports of cashew kernel or nuts from African countries, the market price increased thereby giving relief to the farmers in Goa. While last year cashew seeds were purchased at the rate of Rs. 60 per kg, this year the price shot up to Rs. 82 per kg.
Cashew is a crop that was introduced to Goa by the Portuguese and has today come to be a major cash crop for Goan farmers. While at the time of Goa’s liberation only 13,513 hectares of land was under cashew plantation, it has now increased to 47,094 hactare.