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  • Experts flag disparity in cashew production 06/21/2023

    Jun 21st, 2023

    Highlighting a worrying trend in the cashew industry during the national conference on the pan-India online trading portal e-NAM at a hotel in South Goa, experts said that the disparity in domestic production and import of cashew nut as well as decrease in the exports are having a direct impact on cashew prices which is affecting farmers, including in Goa. Heads of several states including Punjab, Uttarakhand and Haryana along with the stakeholders from Goa gathered for the three-day national conference titled ‘e-NAM-Operational Difficulties and Opportunities’ to discuss aspects of the National Agriculture Market (eNAM), a pan-India electronic trading portal which networks the existing mandis (marketplaces) to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities. Speaking on ‘Import Cashew and Impact on India Cashew: Solution’, agricultural economist NMML Fellow, New Delhi Dr. Parashram Patil painted a worrying picture of the cashew industry in the country and highlighted the problems. He said that the rate of import of cashew was much higher than the domestic production. “This will create a long-term impact on the domestic price and the brand that India has created. The domestic market for cashew is also increasing because of which processing is also increasing. To become Atmanirbhar, we should increase domestic production of cashew nuts by bringing in high-density farming and good variety seeds to improve productivity. But often we have found that cashew nuts are taken as a secondary crop, because of which good agricultural practices are not followed,” he said. According to the national figures, domestic cashew production for 2020-21 was 7.38 lakh MT while the import of raw nut was 8.31 lakh MT, while for 2021-22, the domestic production was 7.73 lakh MT and the import of raw nut was 9.55 lakh MT. He further added that another alarming issue was that cashew exports were decreasing but the imports were increasing. The situation in Goa was also spoken about during the inaugural session by the chairman of Goa SAMB Prakash Velip. “In Goa, cashew is well-known but cashew farmers are facing a difficult situation and will continue to do so in the future. Recently, a farmer from Bardez at a meeting said he was going to cut a thousand of his cashew trees because there was no price for the cashew nuts. We fear that others may also do the same. We have to protect the interest of the cashew farmers. We will send a representation to the central government,” said Velip. One of the solutions that Dr. Patil suggested in addition to high-density planting and seed variety, was to work with bigger cooperatives for value-added products like cashew butter and cashew milk and upgrading cashew processing industries. “The beauty of this industry lies in the village and in the cooperative movement is the way to go forward. Primary processing is doing well, added products like cashew butter, cashew milk or other processing items can be worked on with bigger cooperatives so that the benefit goes to the farmers,” said Dr. Patil. Margao: Under the central government’s online trade portal National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) for agricultural commodities, Goa is in the process of setting up seven offices with Ponda having the biggest in the state. At the national conference on ‘e-NAM-Operational Difficulties and Opportunities’ at a hotel in South Goa, officials of the National Council of State Agricultural Marketing Boards (COSAMB) and stakeholders discussed the initiative. Speaking at the inaugural function, director of the agriculture department Nevil Alphonso said, “e-NAM is an excellent platform, and Goa has seven markets with Ponda as the main market. This year the state decided to link all seven with e-NAM and registration of farmers is in progress.”