Kerala Minister for Fisheries, Harbour Engineering and Cashew Industry J Mercykutty Amma released the first cashew hybrid of ICAR-DCR, H-130 at the Annual Cashew Day programme at ICAR-Directorate of Cashew Research, Puttur, on Tuesday.
She inaugurated the hybrid variety by distributing it to the Horticulture Department officials of Karnataka and Kerala.
The hybrid has precocious flowering behaviour and is suitable for high- density planting. It has bold nuts weighing nearly 12 to 13 grams and yield levels are also high.
The minister said that there was a shortage of raw cashew nuts for processing in Kerala and other states. “There is an urgent need to increase production of cashewnuts. The Directorate of Cashew Research is working hard to develop technology. It is reaching out to farmers. It promotes better practices in cashew cultivation,” she said.
She stressed the need for adopting ultra high-density planting system in cashew for higher yields in less space.
Shirish K, special officer (Cashew) and Managing director, Kerala State Agency for Expansion of Cashew Cultivation, opined that cashew planting material was of utmost importance under the present conditions. “In order to expand cashew cultivation in Kerala, the state is taking many initiatives to revive cashew cultivation,” he added.
CPCRI, Kasargod, in-charge director Dr Anitha Karun lauded the efforts of ICAR- Directorate of Cashew Research in developing modern technologies for improved cashew cultivation.
Dr M G Nayak, director (Acting), ICAR-Directorate of Cashew Research, Puttur, launched a website that serves as a tool for monitoring cashew phenology (depicting developmental stages such as sprouting, leaf development, flowering and fruiting) in relation to environmental parameters.
He announced the formation of Cashew Growers’ Association of India. An exhibition on cashew production technologies, different cashew varieties and cashew apple products was held.
Various publications on cashew production and processing technologies were displayed. Farmers were taken to fields and shown various cashew research plots.