MP farmers take to cashew cultivation



To improve the conditions of the farmers in Madhya Pradesh, the state government has been encouraging them to switch to cashew cultivation, and the effort is proving to be a success.

The state has been witnessing both drought and heavy rains as also surplus production, which has caused heavy loss to the farmers. The state government has been trying to provide relief to the farmers by giving them a loan waiver.

But for the long run, the government is helping the farmers to take up farming other than the regular wheat, paddy or sugar cane. The promotion of cashew farming is one of such initiatives.

The Horticulture Division has said that the Kerala based Cashew and Cocoa Promotion Directorate has found the land and climate in Betul, Chhindwada, Balaghat and Seoni perfect for such cash crop cultivation.

The farmers here have taken up the cashew farming in a big way and an area of 1,430 hectares is now under the cultivation.

Till now, 1,000 farmers in Betul, 30 in Chhindwada, and around 200 farmers in Balaghat and Seoni have started cashew cultivation. They have planted 200 cashew plants on each hectare.

According to the scientists each cashew plant can approximately produce 15 kg of fruit. Likewise 200 plants can produce 3,000 kg of fruit. If the market rate for cashew is around Rs 600, then the produce from one hectare of cultivation can fetch Rs 18 lakh to each farmer.

"The government is committed to the cause of farmers, we have waived the loan up to Rs 2 lakh. Electricity bill has been halved, farm equipments have been subsidised up to 50 per cent. We are promoting cash crop farming among the farmers. Cashew farming will take us one step ahead in such direction", said Sachin Yadav, State Agriculture Minister.IANS