Mysuru: Maharashtra is one of the major States in the country producing cashew crop by cultivating in 1.81 lakh hectares. Currently, around one lakh farmers are involved in the production, processing and marketing of cashewnut in the Konkan region.
Majority of these are marginal farmers and they are supplying raw cashewnut to market. Middlemen exploit them with meagre value realisation for their produce. However, demand for cashewnut is on the rise and the country has realised Rs. 5,600 crore worth export of cashewnut and allied products in the last year.
Considering the growing demand for the quality and variety of cashew products in the market, the farmers and young entrepreneurs of cashewnut farming community has shown great interest in enhancing the unit value realisation.
With support from Maharashtra State Industry Department, CSIR-CFTRI, Mysuru, had organised a three-day workshop from Sept. 6, under a framework of Cluster Development and Farmer-centric Workshops in the Institute. The workshop focused mainly on value-added products from the cashewnuts, packaging requirements, cashew apple juice, regulatory and safety issues. Series of similar kind of cluster development programmes are lined up already to empower the farmers and producer companies.
Horticulture Departments of various State governments are also in touch with CFTRI for organising customised farmer-centric training programmes for shorter durations. The Institute has already geared up to meet the demands on a continual basis. Prof. Ram Rajasekharan, Director, CSIR-CFTRI, distributed certificates to the participants of the programme, according to a press release from Manilal, Sr. Principal Scientist, Director’s S&T Unit.