Article Hill Garden - Cashew plantation thrives on hills

Discussion in 'Discussion Topics' started by editorialteam, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. editorialteam

    editorialteam Active Member Staff Member

    Cashew plantation thrives on hills with planned schedule for irrigation and manure application

    “Cashew trees can give excellent yield every year if watered regularly and right dosage of manure is applied,” shares Mr. Henry Crasta, Founder, Hill Garden. “It is ideal to have coconut trees in the cashew plantation as both trees complement each other. Besides, pepper and coconut also must be planted as harmonizing crops. At my plantation, there are 600 cashew trees and 200 coconut trees supported with one black pepper vines each.”
    Mr. Henry Crasta

    Hill Garden is 7 acres farm located at Neermarga , Pedamale Post, Mangalore. The plantation is 10 years old and renowned for its bountiful cashew production. Ullal 1, Ullal 2, Ullal 3 Dana, Baskar (Goa), Priyanka, Vengurla 7 are the best cashew varieties for commercial plantation according to Mr. Crasta. “These varieties have big size nuts. The saplings can be bought from Ullal Cashew Research centre, Kapikad, Mangalore. There are centers at Brahmavara, Puttur as well where saplings are sold at Rs. 15/plant,” he adds. Usually the saplings are 60 days old.

    Cashew plant starts flowering after 3years. In the fourth year, the first yield would be 10 cashew nuts/plant. Subsequently the production will increase every year with 1kg nuts in 5th year, 5-6 kg in 6th year and later once the tree is matured it would yield 10-12 kg nuts/tree. “To have good production, irrigation and manure application are most crucial to plan and monitor,” he asserts. “I use NPK and cattle manure. I get cow dung and put it into a tank. To this I add sudu (burnt) soil means good soil for which we add coconut leaves, cashew stems, and rotten cashew fruits. It is allowed to rest for some time. The compost obtained becomes good source of potash. I use NPK (urea, rock phosphate and potash) based on the guidelines from the Cashew Farm Research Centre.
    Cashew needs more water. “If we do not give water trees won’t die but produce would be less. To get more yield trees need more water. In my farm, irrigation is done manually as it is hassle free because the plantation is at 45 degree slope. Moreover drip irrigation pipes get blocked! I water once in 15 days from January -March,” he highlights. On an average 20litres water is required per tree.

    As Hill Garden is situated on the hills so Mr. Crasta has made soak pit to enable to allow the rainwater flow down naturally to the soak pit. “It helps to replenish the ground water level. I have a well at the end of the slope, hence it too gets recharged with good amount of water.” Usually the trees that are left on its’ own to grow get 2-3 cashew fruits in one bunch, but in the cashew trees at Hill Garden there are 40 -50 fruits in every bunch. It is the result of timely and adequate irrigation and manure application.

    As in any agricultural crop selling raw cashew is tough! “I sold raw cashews directly to 2-3 cashew processing factories nearby by in Mangalore with direct approach. They bought the nuts last year at Rs. 95/kg raw cashew. I have a vehicle so I sell it to different factories but it is not lucrative! Factory owners mislead the farmers saying, ‘there is no demand for cashew now’. Saying this they would quote low price because they know farmers have travelled long distance and would sell it for sure!” states Mr. Crasta. This year raw cashew is priced at Rs. 120-130/kg. Cashew processing is profitable for farmers. There are government schemes that can be availed to set up a processing unit within the farm itself.

    Future is uncertain to Mr. Crasta considering he is 60 years old now. “Cashew farming can be profitable if farmers expand into processing. Growing is difficult but not impossible. I will be more than happy to share my knowledge with young farmers but for me now expansion into processing is certainly not on cards,” he shares.

    Mr. Henry Crasta was working in gulf countries till 1984 but returned back home for pursuing farming. He concludes, “I am from farmer’s family and so I am into agriculture since childhood. I am contended with my life in my plantation. I strongly feel India has the potential for growing best quality cashew but we need more farmers to take up cashew farming commercially. Presently we are not able to voice our exploitation because we do not have considerable strength. Further, Government as always lacks in providing the necessary support and infrastructure. If the cashew plantation area increases certainly the prospects are bright.”

    Contact details:
    Hill Garden
    Crasta Compound, Pedamale post, Mangalore – 575029
    Phone: +91 9880051269
  2. roshan24

    roshan24 New Member

    sir, please advise at what rate we can buy land for cashew cultivation.

    Ramesh /rane Goa/Karnataka/Maharashtra-07798684174

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