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  • 50% drop in cashew yield has left Goan cashew farmers worried

    Apr 25th, 2024

    Already hit by fall in cashew production, mainly due to weather vagaries, low support price and import of non-Goan cashew into the markets have made matters worse for cashew farmers of Goa. 

    Farmers have said that after paying wages and putting all the effort into processing, the farmer is left with very little money. 

    The farmers have insisted on declaring a cashew drought as they have predicted that compared to last year the yield is only 50 per cent. 

    The Agriculture Department had earlier already agreed to the fact that the yield of cashews has reduced to an alarming 50 per cent compared to last year. 

    One of the premier cashew processing units of Adarsh Krishi Co-operative Society has revealed that they had purchased 1,920 tonnes of cashew in 2023. This year they have only purchased 909 tonnes. Goa has a total production of nearly 13,000 tonnes and having a Geological Tag (GI) for the cashews has given the much-needed boost to the cashew. 

    However, the weather vagaries and a sudden fall in production have resulted in some anxious days ahead for the poor farmers. 

    Cashew farmer Sita Velip said, “Production of cashew is not cheap any more. Just the labour cost for the cashew apple collectors is so high that the farmers are left with no money after payments. Since cashew is our only source of income, come what may we have to struggle.” 

    Paik Velip said, "The support price for cashews is very low despite all our efforts and callouts to the leaders. The Scheduled Tribal community will not get carried away by the false assurances and promises of the politicians. We will show our might in the election." 

    Cashew which is an integral part of the rural economy of Goa has crumbled and if not supported this time the farmers will turn their back toward cashew farming. The government has also not yet released the support money to the cashew producers which has resulted in lots of discontent among the farmers. 

    Speaking to reporters at Margao, he along with Satish Velip, Vice-President of the Adarsh Krishi Co-operative Society, also claimed that farmers will turn back to cashew farming if the government failed to come out with support to them in this prevailing situation. 

    Velip informed that the support price offered in this sector is reaching out to only 20 percent of the farmers due to several technical reasons, which the government needs to sort out and resolve the issue at the earliest. 

    Taking into consideration the prevailing conditions in the field of cashew farming, besides other farming activities, Adarsh Krishi Sahakari Kharedi Vikri Parkriya Saunstha Maryadit has called for an meeting on April 26 at Balli, wherein grievances of the farmers will be deliberated by the concerned authorities, as this association has also invited the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to attend the same. 

    It has demanded that organic cashew farmers should get Rs 15,000 and in general category, farmers should be given financial help of Rs 10,000 per hectare. 

    Velip said the farmers had demanded a support price of Rs 173 per kg to the organic cashew growers, but presently the support given is Rs 150 per kg, which is not even reaching out to 20 percent of the farmers. 

    “Considering the prevailing conditions in the cashew crop, we can say that the crop yield will not even cross 50 percent and the economy at the rural level will be badly affected. And hence there is an urgent need for the intervention of the government to offer their support. Cashew farmers will definitely turn back to cashew farming if such conditions continue to affect them,” said Velip. 

    He informed that under their society, there are nearly 3546 certified organic cashew farmers and the area covered under the cashew is 8,365 hectare. 

    “There are different reasons for not getting the support price fully, which the government needs to resolve at the earliest, he added. 

    Velip informed that as compared to last year's production, there is a shortage of nearly 50 percent in cashew crop and hence the government should declare cashew drought and give hundred percent support. 

    “We want the Chief Minister to hear the grievances of the farmers. The Krishi Card-related difficulties should be resolved. The cashew production should be processed and marketed in the State of Goa itself so that the Goan cashew farmers are benefited. The government should also need to look into the matter seriously,” he urged.