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  • Cashew yield in coastal Karnataka expected to fall

    Feb 11th, 2016

    The cashew industry in Karnataka is anticipated to suffer this year as there could be a fall in production due to the delay in flowering, the experts feel.While erratic change in weather is primarily being held responsible for the fall, there are other factors too. "Overall the flowering has been delayed. But the weather is not to be blamed entirely. The variety and the nutritional status of the soil and climatic factors are also responsible," says Dr Gangadhar Nayak, Principal Scientist (Horticulture) Directorate of Cashew Research in Puttur.The early varieties that were expected to flower between November and December is flowering in January and February. It rained in December. This is the situation in West Coast that includes areas of Uttar Kannada, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi up to Kasargod in Kerala. The delay is almost by one month. Flowering is further less by 20-30 per cent in those farms where the nutritional status is not good or not properly manured.

    Speaking about the yield, Dr Nayak said, "Since the flowering is delayed, and in case the region witnesses summer showers, the quality is bound to be affected. The places where farmers have manured regularly will not have much impact. For instance, at the institute, there is a slight delay in flowering, but fruiting is normal. We have regularly sprayed normal fertilizers, manuring and taken necessary steps. The delay could be by 15-20 days, but the fruiting is normal."In East Coast, fruiting is generally in March-April and harvest will continue till June-July. The major cashew plantations are found in Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Kolar, Chintamani, Chikkaballapur, Shivamogga and Belagavi. The Kolar- Chikkaballapur areas may not be affected as flowering begins only after January. Hence the impact may be seen only in the Coastal regions. Unfruitfulness could be due to various reasons such as genetic material, governed by nutritional factors, climatic and diseases.In Dakshina Kananda plantations are spread over 30-35,000 hectares approximately, while Udupi and Uttar Kannada region it could be 40-50,000. The major plantations are under the forest department. All over the state, plantations is spread over 1.25 lakh hectares. The state average yield as per the Directorate of Cashew nut and Cocoa Development Corporation is just 660KG per hectare. The national average is 780 kgs per hectare. Well managed plantations can give up to one -two tonnes per hectare. There are several varieties. Forty two varieties have been recommended by the national committee in addition to a few varieties have been released through agricultural universities in respective states. In the coastal district- the popular varieties are Bhaskara, Ullala 3, Ullal 1, Ullal 4, Vengurla 4, Vengurla 7 Priyanka and so on.

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