The land of happiness and natural beauty hosted its first-ever cashew fest on April 15-16. The event took place at the Dayanand Bandodkar ground in Panaji and brought together various stakeholders from the cashew industry, including processors, distillers, retailers, agriculturists, and more.
The festival aimed to showcase cashew and discuss ways to increase production in the state. The festival is now set to become an annual event and is also likely to be included in the tourist calendar. “The Cashew Fest is a one-of-its-kind state festival, and will supplement our collective efforts to make Goa Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) and Swayampurna (self-sufficient) in cashew production. It will also help capacity-building of marginal farmers, self-help groups, rural women, and cashew growers. There are 60,000 women employed in cashew plantations being operated by GFDC itself,” said Dr Deviya Rane, Chairperson of Goa Forest Development Corporation (GFDC).
The festival also promoted the traditional method of making feni, a local alcoholic beverage made from cashew juice, and showcased the Goan Kunbi fabric. In addition, by-products made from cashews were promoted and sold at the event.
“I dedicate the Cashew Fest Goa 2023 to the Self-Help group ladies and rural women for their immense contribution in the cashew sector. The main objective for organising the Cashew Fest is to make our state, Atmanirbhar and Swayampurna in cashew production. I am elated to have inaugurated the opening ceremony of the first ever Cashew Fest Goa 2023 at the hands of Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant.
Cashew is an important agricultural produce in our state, and today we are proud to celebrate this double cash crop and its versatility. With this festival, we will supplement our efforts to increase cashew production in Goa. It gives me immense pride to say that right from cultivation, collection extraction of juice, distillation, processing and packaging is done by the majority of the rural women.
Through this event, we will ensure that cashew is looked after, loved and celebrated with great pride throughout the country.
I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all my stakeholders and the team at GFDC for putting together this fantastic event and without whom this wouldn’t have been a grand success,” added Dr Deviya.
GFDC has launched its website to promote eco-tourism activities, where visitors can book day-long and overnight stays and activities at GFDC properties. This website is aimed at promoting eco-tourism activities in Goa and will help visitors explore and experience the state’s rich natural resources. The Cashew Fest and the new websites are aimed at making the corporation profitable, as advised by the Chief Minister. It is a positive step towards promoting the cashew industry and eco-tourism in Goa. The festival attracted visitors from all over the world and provided a platform for stakeholders to collaborate and work towards the growth of the cashew industry in Goa.
Stakeholders claimed that the event has the potential to create new opportunities for farmers and create sustainable economic growth for the State, if hosted on an annual basis.