AHMEDABAD: The farmers in the districts of Surendrangar and Valsad are gradually moving from the traditional crops to cashew nut. The crop grown mainly in warm and humid climate is now being increasingly cultivated in different pockets in Valsad, Dang, Surendranagar, Kutch and Amreli in Gujarat. The total production of cashew nut in Gujarat was around 13,000 metric tonnes this year. “Gujarat has started growing cashew nut only in few years. The area under cultivation in Gujarat has grown to over 5,886 hectares from 4,000 hectares in the past one year,” said Gujarat horticulture department director S Chaudhary.
What started as a tribal development programme with the help of NGOs is now helping the farmers to earn huge revenues. The unprocessed cashew nut from Gujarat is fetching around Rs 40-Rs 50 per kg and the processed cashew nut is fetching around Rs 200 per kg. At present there are around 10-15 cashew nut processing units in these belts. “We are working on cashew nut cultivation in the tribal belts of Dangs and Surendrangar and have covered an area of around 8,000 acres. Each co-operative also has its own processing centre for cashew nut as well,” says VC Badve, chief programme co-ordinator, BAIF Development Research Foundation. The foundation is also testing areas in Daman for cashew nut cultivation.
The cashew nut grown in Gujarat is mainly sold in Maharashtra and Delhi. In India, cashew nut is widely grown in Mangalore, Kollam and Kochi among other places. While India even imports cashew nut and exports cashew kernels to other countries. The farmers in tribal belts are increasingly focusing on processed cashew nut as it fetches a better price, and according to industry experts a lot of private players too are showing interest in cashew nut cultivation as wel
Courtesy: Economic Times - India