Cashew farmers waiting to cash in

The cashew nut farmers from Panruti and Neyveli regions are a happy lot as they expect to make a decent profit after a lull of two years when most of the nuts were imported.

Published: 28th December 2017 02:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th December 2017 10:53 AM   |  A+A-

A cashew nut grove at Muthandikuppam near Panruti

Express News Service

CUDDALORE: The cashew nut farmers from Panruti and Neyveli regions are a happy lot as they expect to make a decent profit after a lull of two years, when most of the nuts were imported due to the failure of monsoon.

The farmers who were staring at yet another loss this year were boosted by the moderate rains that the district received in the months of October and November. The cashew nuts from the region fetch a good price in the global market, said a farmer and we have suffered losses for the past two years.

A worker segregating the nuts at a processing centre | Harish Murali

Speaking to Express, R Shankar (44) of Kangeyankuppam, who owns a 10-acre farmland said that the season usually begins only during the month of March when the nuts are harvested. This goes on for about a month.  However, for the past two years, the market was dull, but the demand was high and as there was not much harvest in the region, it was imported from Kerala and even Africa, which arrived at the Thoothukudi Port.

Several cashew nut dealers in Neyveli, Panruti and Muthandikuppam all went to the Thoothukudi Port to take the nuts from Nigeria and other parts of Africa. The nuts are brought here for segregation, which are processed for a price and sold in the markets. The entire processing were done at cheaper rates as the demand was high domestically due to the poor harvest, added Shankar.

Shankar who employs over 15 people for the segregation of cashew nuts is a happy man as he and several others who own even smaller farms are going to reap the benefits. A kg of first-grade cashew nut sells at the `670 while the roasted one is sold at `660.

Shankar added that this time around they are expecting a bumper harvest as the crops in most farms are almost ready. If sold at `660, the dealers at least make a profit of `200.

In a nutshell

Have you ever wondered why you can’t get cashew in a shell. One can get hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts, etc., in a shell, but not cashew. Why? Because the cashew shell is toxic. Roasting at high temperature destroys the shell oil, so nuts will not trigger a reaction

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