To motivate cashew growers and provide appropriate training to growers in the state a two-day Training of Trainers (ToT) on “Cashew cultivation and processing” commenced at National Research Centre (Mithun), Jarnapani Thursday with director of horticulture, Rongsentemjen as chief guest of the inaugural function.
The ToT organized by Central Institute of Horticulture (CIH), Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC), Union Ministry of Agriculture, Medziphema headquarter is being attended by 47 cashew growers including horticulture department officials from districts such as Dimapur, Kohima, Peren and Wokha.
Addressing the function, director of horticulture, Rongsentemjen asserted that out of 37 high yielding cashew varieties released in the country for commercial cultivation, Vengurla-1 and Vengurla-4 varieties have been introduced in Nagaland since 2004 for commercial cultivation.
Pointing out that total area of cashew plantation in the country was 8.55 lakh hectares in 2005-06, with northeastern states accounting to 0.14 lahks hectare, said the present area under cashew plantation in Nagaland was around 1200 hectares, mostly confined to Chumukedima, Jalukie, Naginimora, Tizit, Tsürangkong and Yajang.
State horticulture director maintained that there was a tremendous scope and potentiality for cashew development in the entire region, owing to its classified homogenous and diverse agro-climatic and geographical conditions.
Putting emphasis on how horticulture – as an industry – was dependent by people from all walks of life, Rongsentemjen said the need of the hour was to sensitize production patterns to changing conditions of demand.
He stressed that marketing patterns should be thoroughly studied before preparing horticulture production plan.
“To achieve this, we need to learn economic operations first, and I am apprehensive that without this knowledge every effort to increase production by any institution will not go a long way,” the director advocated.
Indicating that India produces about 50% of raw nuts required by processing industries and balance quantity imported fom African and other countries, state horticulture director underlined that in future raw nut availability for India to import may gradually decline or may all together stop if those countries start processing their own nuts.
In this connection he said there was an urgent need to enhance domestic cashew nut production and become self sufficient in raw nut production.
To enhance the production and to encourage the efforts of the growers, Rongsentemjen said such training for development of horticulture; particularly cashew production should be a regular feature.
He expressed hope that through the training programme the production level of cashew crops would increase in the region and improve the quality of crops.
The resource per-sons of ToT including Dr P. C. Lenka and Dr R. N. Mohapatra, Associate Professor (Horticulture), Orissa University of Agriculture Technology, Bhubaneshwar and Prof. V B Singh HoD, department of horticulture, NU SASRD would be delivering lectures on various topics on cultivation practices – introduction of cashew, cashew production technology, cashew scenario in India, integrated paste and disease management and processing in cashew.