Dropping price of cashew nut puts farmers in crisis
Iritty (Kannur): The farmers are concerned over the dropping price of cashew nut. The price has not increased even one month after the harvest season commenced. Compared to previous year, cashew nut price dropped by 20 percent. The price was Rs 130 per kilogram last year and it dropped to Rs 100 this time.
When the COVID lockdown affected the cashew industry last year, the government fixed a floor price of Rs 90 and procured cashew via cooperative society. But the government did not take any action this time. The Cashew Development Board and CAPEX were ready to procure cashew from plantation corporation and other farms under the government, the price has not been fixed.
The cashew trees have not bloomed even after February this year. Normally, the trees bloom by December and January. The untimely rainfall during the blooming season also affected the production. The traditional varieties have bloomed now after a delay.
The major challenges in cashew industry is fluctuating price and climate change. The farmers complained that the high price receiving at the beginning of the season is not maintained till the end. This is because the price is determined by the corporate companies, the farmers pointed out.
The small scale vendors from Tamil Nadu are buying cashew nut at present. There is no demand in other states. As cashew price in international market dropped, larger companies are not entering the market, said cashew trader M P Abdul Rahman Haji from Iritty.
Aralam farm is the top producer of cashew in Kannur district. Last year, about 160 tonnes of cashew was procured from the farm. But only 20 tonnes of cashew could be collected though it has been two months since harvest season started.