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  • Cashew plantations in district hit by rain shortage, farmers fear price dip

    Feb 23rd, 2016

    Cashew, which is grown as a mixed crop across 1.2 lakh acres of land in the district including the Agency belt, has been one of the mainstays of the farmers in the region. However, this year, cashew is likely to disappoint the farming community due to various reasons and ryots are already speculating that even if there is a price hike per bag this time, the loss of crop acerage will still put them in the red.

    Last year, each bag was sold for Rs 8,000. P Srinivasa Rao, a senior retired field scientist who still assists the district administration, said, "Late blooming is an issue that bothers farmers a lot. Whenever there is an extended cold season with heavy dew, the trees bloom later than usual. Usually, cashew should be in full bloom by the month of February. This time, it has not happened chiefly because of an extended cold season. We are expecting the trees to bloom properly after the first week of March and, hopefully, they will flower to their potential."

    But farmers are worried that even if the trees bloom properly, if the market is already flooded with cashew from elsewhere, the prices will fall instead of going up. C Kami Naidu, a farmer from Ramannapalem village in Makkavaripalem mandal, said, "Just because the trees bloom late does not mean that the farmers and those who take the crop on lease will make a killing. It all depends on how the markets function. Once the market is flooded with cashew from down south, the prices will fall and we may not be able to make the money we think we can. For that matter, prices could even crash."

    Keeping a close watch on the situation, the horticulture department officials have advised the farmers to wait and watch and hoping that there will be no crop loss as far as cashew is concerned.

    "Late blooming is an issue that bothers farmers a lot. Whenever there is an extended cold season with heavy dew, the trees bloom later than usual. Usually, cashew should be in full bloom by the month of February. This time, it has not happened chiefly because of an extended cold season. We are expecting the trees to bloom properly after the first week of March and, hopefully, they will flower to their potential," said P Srinivasa Rao, Senior retired field scientist.


    Source: www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/