Panaji: Cashew farmers have struck gold as prices for its nuts have shot up to an all-time high of Rs 160 per kilo this year. Compared to Rs 105-110 per kg last year, raw cashew kernels are fetching farmers a lucrative price, but a dewy phase a few days ago may affect their expectations of a bumper crop."Cashew nut prices have reached a historic high this time around. Last season, the prices opened at Rs 105 and closed at Rs 145. But this is for the first time that the price has opened at Rs 160. Farmers welcome this development," said A Kamath, a member of the cashew processors' group.
Cashew nut prices show a progressive rise year after year. Prices shoot up at the beginning of every season due to demand and gradually decrease when more and more nuts hit the local market.TOI had reported in February that the cashew crop this season has been a recipient of clear weather and zero dampness in December, thus, showing possibilities of a generous amount of cashew output. In a sudden turn of events, climate changes affected the fruiting process."Though the season looked promising initially, dew and foggy conditions over the past few days have affected the flowering of crops. The second phase of flowering has therefore fared quite badly," said director, agriculture, Ulhas Pai Kakode.
After receiving a fair share of chill in winter, cashew crops grow better with a gradual rise in temperatures. The recent dip in the mercury has left the flowers dry, leaving little room to reach full fruition, but farmers are hopeful of a change in situation with later blooming varieties."This crop will be harvested by March-end. Though it looks bleak, we expect a better crop in the next batch of cashews. At the moment, we are happy that cashew nut prices have reached a record high." said cashew farmer Jagganath Lawande.