Farmers and the state agriculture department are hoping for a good cashew yield this season, as the climate, so far, has been conducive for the crop. The cashew season in the state will commence shortly and farmers have already started clearing bushes.
Director of the agriculture department UlhasPaiKakode said, “The climate has been normal till now and we are expecting a good cashew yield this season. The flowering has begun and as of now, the climatic conditions have been favourable. So we are hoping to have a good cashew yield this season.” He further said that there has been no effect of demonetisation on the cashew farmers in the state.
According to information available from the agriculture department, the production of cashew in Goa in 2012-13 was 23,804 tonnes, while the estimated area under cashew cultivation was 55,747 hectares. In the year 2013-14, the production of cashew increased to 24,332 tonnes and the estimated area under cultivation also increased to 55,936 hectares. In 2014-15, the production of the crop further increased to 25,011 tonnes and the estimated area under cultivation was 56,079 hectares.
A farmer from PernemBhimshankarNaik said that he has already begun the work of clearing the bushes in his cashew plantation. “Due to the normal climate, we are expecting a good cashew yield this season,” he said. The cashew season in the state normally commences in February and goes up to May.
KashinathGaonkar, another farmer from Pernem, said that the exercise of demonetisation of high-value currency notes undertaken by the central government has not affected him. “I am not facing any difficulty due to demonetisation, as the situation has almost normalised in Goa,” he said.
Gaonkar further said that he, along with some other farmers, has planned to make ‘aagist’ or a fire cover for cashew plantations wherein a grass patch of around one or two metres is selected about three metres from the boundary of cashew plantations on a hill and it is set on fire. The fire is later extinguished. Gaonkar said that this practice creates a protective belt around the plantations and helps in reducing the risk of fire incidents.
According to sources, there is a good scope for improvement of cashew crop in the state by accommodating cashew saplings in between the larger cashew plantations thus attempting to achieve optimum density of plants per hectare.