Panaji: The sudden downpour in parts of Goa caused due to the development of a trough in the Arabian Sea has hit the state’s agricultural sector. Cashew farmers fear that the crop may receive a major blow if the rains don’t stop and the cloudy weather continues to prevail.
“It has been continuously raining in Goa since Friday, from Usgao to Guleli . If it doesn’t stop, we will lose the remaining crop that is yet to be harvested,” said farmer Ashok Joshi.
There is about 30-40% of locally-grown crop yet to be plucked, while grafts comprising 10-20% crop are yet to be harvested, farmers said. Once the monsoon sets in, the cashewkernels begin to absorb moisture from the environment and soften. This leads to the deterioration of the taste, texture, flavor and aroma of the nuts. The produce then goes to waste, leading to losses for farmers. Cashew processing plants in the state have currently suspended exports owing to the lockdown, leaving the farmers looking for a local market besides battling the problem of lowered rates. “Wholesalers and other industrialists are not purchasing the cashews from us. Goa Bagayatdar has given the highest rates so far, which are much lower than last year’s” a cashew processor said.
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