Cashing in on cashew cultivation helps farmer reap rich benefits

When areca nut and coconut prices started fluctuating in the market, a farmer in Puttur began cultivating cashew and it has helped him reap rich benefits and script a success story worthy of emulation. Sathish Rai, a resident of Karnoor in Puttur on the border of Kerala, has been leading a contended life as the income from cashew has supplemented his earnings from other crops.

Rai told DH that he started getting rich yields within a few years of planting cashew plants. Rai has since then named one cashew plantation as ‘Shibira’ and another ‘Amma’. He has planted 1,200 grafted cashew plants of ‘Ullal 3’, ‘Bhaskar’ and ‘Selection1’ varieties of saplings in addition to the local variety.

Rai expects a 20 qunital yield this year and is hopeful of making profit as cashew nuts are fetching a good price in the market. Rai has been supported in his endeavour by his wife Jayanthi. He said it has been his sheer hard work and dedication that has turned a once barren land into a green patch.

 Rai has been feeding the plants chicken manure and also spraying insecticides thrice before and after flowering as it helps in increasing the yield. “I have learnt that even when commercial plants fail, sub crops come to the rescue of farmers. The production cost in cashew cultivation is less when compared to other major commercial crops,” he said. 

Rai owns seven acres of land to manage dairy farming and cultivating arecanut, coconut, banana, papaya, vegetables, paddy and betel leaves. Before venturing into farming, Rai had dabbled in a business proposition in Mumbai. But his love for farming brought him back to his roots. Cashew Research Directorate Director Dr Gangadhar Nayak has visited Rai’s farm and expressed satisfaction over the quality of produce. Puttur APMC and some organisations have felicitated Rai for his success. He has also conducted several training programmes on cashew cultivation at his farm.
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