Panaji, November 7, 2016 …. “The cashew crop is not a simple market, where turnkey solutions are available to be implemented. Its market is a cumbersome sequence of events. And so its farmers need the support of the government and the Goa Government has extended its support to its farmers by offering them minimum support prices for their crops,” said Shri R.K. Srivastava, Chief Secretary of Goa, while speaking at the inauguration of the national conference ‘Cashew and Cocoa: Production to Marketing’, at a city hotel in Panaji on Monday. It was organised by the Directorate of Cashewnut and Cocoa Development and Department of Agriculture, Government of Goa.

Shri R.K. Srivastava expressed happiness that the conference was hosting not just policy planners and administrators but also progressive farmers. He explained further how even the banking sector were trying to help farmers through loans and schemes. “We will interact more with them to structure schemes for the benefit of the farmer. The Goa Government has already given smart cards or Krishi cards to its farmers so that they don’t have to face any problems of producing documents, again and again to avail of benefits.”

The Chief Secretary added, “There’s a need to provide farmers with one platform where they can get information on the latest technology for their crops, and also where they can integrate into a marketing network.”

 Dr Venkatesh Hubballi, Director, Directorate of Cashewnut and Cocoa Development, said that the aim of the conference was to discuss confronting issues in production, processing and exporting of the cashew and cocoa crops and to discuss strategies for the future development of these crops in India.

Dr S.K. Malhotra, Commissioner for Agriculture and Horticulture, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, reminded everyone of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of need to double the income of farmers.  He said, “One way of doing that is focusing on high value crops like cashew, cocoa and spices.

A book on Cashews was released on the occasion and a souvenir commemorating the 50 years of the Cashewnut and Cocoa Development, Cochin was released. Farmers were felicitated from across India. Shri Rohan Joshi was felicitated from Goa.

Also present were Shri Ulhas B. Pai Kakode, Director, Directorate of Agriculture, Government of Goa, Shri Mankazana, Minister Counsellor South African Embassy, Dr C.Vasudevappa, Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture and Horticulture Sciences, Shimoga, Dr M. Gangadhar Rao, Director, DRC, Puttur, Dr P. Sundaran, Chairperson, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India.

Shri Shrikant Mone, Farm Superintendent Government Agricultural Farm, Codar, Ponda, compered the program.