Home   >   NEWS & VIEWS   >   News

  • After honey, it’s cashew’s turn to go organic

    Jan 10th, 2016

    The Girijan Co-operative Corporation (GCC), leader in marketing organic honey, is now venturing into organic cashew with the support of the Integrated Tribal Development Corporation (ITDA), Rampachodavaram, in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

    K.V. Chakradhar Babu, who took charge as Project Officer of ITDA, gathered statistics on cashew farming in the agency area. Cashew farming is the major source of income in the region. He also met tribal farmers during Sunday shandies.

    The ITDA is making efforts to set up Organic Agriculture Producers’ Societies at the village level and develop them like Dwacra groups at the mandal level.

    Payments will be made in bio-metric system and technological partners will be set up. Loans will be sanctioned by the GCC and ITDA will also extend support for to societies.

    “Farmers can store their produce in godowns. Purchasing centres will be set up in villages apart from existing sales points. Tribal farmers can make use of organic certificates to avoid problems in transporting products from procurement centres to clusters,” said Mr. Babu.

    MoU signed

    The GCC has signed an MoU with the Kerala-based Olam Company, which will give organic certificates to tribals and it will pay a premium of `.2 per each kg of organic product for the farmers who are having the certificate.

    Mr. Babu said cashew crop was cultivated by tribals in Rampachodavaram on about 40,000 acres and they were not getting profitable price owing to lack of proper marketing. In 4-5 mandals the cashew cultivation was high.

    Initially, area would be earmarked for cultivating 10,000 tons of organic cashew.

    Businessmen’s view

    However, businessmen are differing with the idea of ‘organic cashew’.

    “We support the idea of eliminating middlemen between tribals and industries. However, there is no such thing called organic or inorganic in cashew as cashew gardens will not need more pesticides. Organic tag is only to create brand image,” said Appareddy, a businessman at Rajanagaram in the Rajahmundry rural area.