'Increase area under cashew cultivation to meet growing demand'

'Increase area under cashew cultivation to meet growing demand'

Vice Chancellor of University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences (Shivamogga) Dr P Narayanaswamy has said that there is a need to take up cashew cultivation and make the venture profitable.

He was speaking at the cashew field day organised by the Agriculture Research Station at Ullal and Agricultural and Horticultural University here on Tuesday.

Stating that cashew provides good income, he said that there is a need to increase the area under cashew cultivation to meet the growing demand.

"Cashew is one of the important crops in the country. The price of cashew nuts never declines. It has been increasing over the years. It accounts for about 28% of the export of the country and provides Rs 5,169 crore to the state exchequer. Cashew kernels worth Rs 5,000 crore are imported into the country. There are several cashew processing industries in India which face a shortage of raw materials. There is a need for 15 lakh tonne cashew nuts by 2020. At present, only 8 lakh tonne cashew nuts are cultivated in India. Compared to other crops, there is no market problem for cashew nuts," the VC said.

He said that cashew does not require large amounts of water. Through drip irrigation, one can get better yields during summer. Also, the space between cashew trees can be used for cultivating elephant foot yam, turmeric, and bush pepper. Good quality plants are also available, he said.

Farmer achiever Chandrashekar Gatti Kondana, Edward Rebello, P B Prabhakar Rai, Henry Crasta, Kishan Kumar Shetty were felicitated on the occasion.

Agriculture Research Station at Ullal has been supplying 80,000 to 1 lakh quality grafted plants along with saplings of pepper, mango, coconut, drumstick, papaya and breadfruit to the people. It has taken up research on 65 varieties of cashew plants from different parts of the state.

Further, the research station has adopted Balepuni village and is creating awareness about technology among farmers.

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