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  • Poor yield set to up rates of processed cashew, feni

    Jun 14th, 2016

    PONDA: Prices of processed cashew nuts and cashew feni, a local drink brewed by fermenting the juice of raw cashew apples, are likely to soar due to a 50% decline in the nuts' production across the state. A rise in temperature during winter, the flowering season for cashew plants, affected the yield."Cashew production needs at least three months of cold winter, but the winters this time were not conducive for flowering," said zonal agricultural officer, Ponda, Nagesh Komarpant.Cashew processing and feni production units are in a sticky spot, faced with a shortage of raw material that is pushing up prices."It's going to be very difficult to continue business for even six months this year due to the poor yield," said a Bhatpal-based brewer, Dinesh Desai.

    According to him, there is a demand for about 50,000 cans (16,87,500 litres) of cashew feni across the state each year. But, the amount of raw cashew apples produced this year would be hardly enough to brew 20,000-25,000 cans (about eight to nine lakh litres) of the drink. Around 240 litres of raw cashew juice is needed to brew a can of feni.Asked whether it is possible to source feni from outside Goa to meet the demand in the state, Desai said, "It's tough. Feni brewed outside Goa in no way matches the one produced in the state. The odour is not the same and anyone can tell the difference."Goa Bagayatdar Sahakari Kharedi Vikri society, popularly known as Bagaytdar society, the largest buyer of raw cashew, has admitted to receiving just 50% of the crop this year as compared to the last one. The Bagayatdar society, which has 12 branches and five temporary outlets across the state, buys raw cashew from farmers to help them sell their produce at source.

    "We have received just about 1,000 tonnes of raw cashew from our centres this season as compared to 2,000 tonnes at the same time last year", said South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar, who is also the chairman of the society.Officials of Goa state agriculture produce marketing board, which records data of agricultural produce in the state, claimed that this year Ponda taluka has produced about 2,000 tonnes of cashew nuts, as compared to over 3,000 tonnes last year.President of Goa Cashew Processors Association, Madhav Sahakari said the deficient production would necessitate import of raw cashews from Indonesia, Thailand, Tanzania, and Benin (former Congo) of Africa to meet demands.The state has about 40 cashew nut processing units including 22 large industries which need about 20,000 to 22,000 tonnes of raw cashew seeds every year and employ about 5,000 persons. The decreased production is likely to prompt employers to lay off some workers for about two days a week.

    Source: Fnbnews