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  • Carambolim ‘botto’ India’s second biggest nut

    Apr 29th, 2017

    A jumbo-sized cashew nut from a plantation in Carambolim is set to grab countrywide attention for being the second biggest among nut varieties across India and easily fits the international grade.Relishing a dozen pieces of this tasty and crunchy 10gm nut, locally called "botto" for its large size, is akin to eating a small meal, and a few of its big cashew apples are enough to make a glassful of juice, say agricultural scientists.

    Indian council of agricultural research (ICAR) Goa complex has recently released this nut variety along with two more branded as Goa 2 (Carambolim), Goa 3 (Ganjem) and Goa 4 (Quepem) for commercial purpose. Goa 1 (Bali — 2) was released in 2004.The four selections together offer a choice of better-sized and high-yielding planting materials for local cashew farmers.

    "The characteristics of the Carambolim nut and yield pattern of the Carambolim tree and that of two others were monitored for three years. Further, grafts prepared from the mother trees were tested for 12-14 years on our farm," senior ICAR scientist A R Desai said.In the last three decades, cashew researchers from various Indian institutes have released 55 varieties, including 33 direct selections and 22 hybrid varieties and the prized Carambolim botto, weighing 9.8-10gm per seed, is second only to the 10.5gm Indira cashew nut variety from Raipur, Chhattisgarh.

    Goa's biggest cashew nut also fits the premium grade of W-180, as a pound (450 grams) comprises 180 whole kernels.The bigger nut is expensive and is the elite consumer's choice. "It is not easily sold, as the pricing science is based on nut size, which benefits farmers. But, farmers need to be supplied with more saplings to increase yield," Desai said.