Kerala

Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation to buy cashew apples

To be bought at ₹3 a piece from farmers, will be used in value-added products

In a bid to support cashew farmers and expand its range of value-added products, the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) has started procuring cashew apple from various sources. The corporation has been promoting cashew farming to maximise local raw cashew nut production, but it is sourcing cashew apple directly from the farmers for the first time.

New product

“We get the best quality cashew apple during summer and this year we will introduce a new product, natural cashew vinegar. Usually farmers collect only the nut and the highly nutritious fruit is wasted in all other parts of India, except Goa where it is used for making feni,” S. Jayamohan, chairman, KSCDC, told The Hindu.

Of late, the corporation has been striving to ensure sufficient amount of raw nuts to keep the cashew industry afloat, but there was not much demand for cashew apple.

“Farmers will get an extra income as we will buy each apple for ₹3. Currently the KSCDC is offering value-added products, including soda, jam, and juice, using cashew apple,” he said.

Till now, the KSCDC has been procuring cashew apple pulp from Cashew Research Station, Madakkathara, under the Kerala Agricultural University.

Not sufficient

“But it was not sufficient to meet the demand and by directly procuring apple from all sources we will be able to provide the products all year round,” he added.

At present the corporation is procuring raw nuts for its factories from farms at Aralam and the Cheemeni open prison and the ones under the Plantation Corporation of Kerala and the Forest Development Corporation. “We have passed on the information that we will be procuring both nut and apple from now on,” Mr. Jayamohan said.

Shorter saplings

The KSCDC has been distributing a high-yielding, shorter variety of cashew sapling that starts flowering in the first year.

Usually the plants will be ready for harvest by the third year.

“Many farmers have already come forward and they have been instructed how to harvest the cashew properly. It will be very easy to collect the fruit from the variety we provided and we have advised to use nets for taller trees,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 1:36:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kscdc-to-buy-cashew-apples/article30837102.ece

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