Get Cashew Crazy!!!

The second season of the acclaimed Cashew Fest Goa was held with much gusto and excitement

Introduced by the Portuguese in the 16th century, Cashew has grown to become the mainstay of the Goan economy over the years, with the juicy fruit becoming an inseparable part of every Goan’s life. In keeping with the significance of this seasonal delight to the Goan society, the Goa Forest Development Corporation Limited organised the second season of its famed ‘Cashew Fest’ which aimed to celebrate tradition while at the same time empower communities. The three day festival, organised from the 10th -12th May 2024, at the Dayanand Bandodkar ground in Panaji was an unforgettable event that sought to blend culture and tradition with community empowerment.
A beacon of hope for cashew farmers and localcommunities, Cashew Fest Goa
2024 showcased over 50+ food stalls, from traditional cashew processing demonstrations to a mouth-watering array of  cashew-based delicacies which
sought to invite visitors to immerse themselves in a rich tapestry of Goan traditions, ensuring that the legacies passed down from our ancestors
endure for generations to come. The festival aimed at empowering local businesses, especially women-led rural self-help groups, preserving and promoting the Goan cultural heritage and also ensuring a sustainable future for Goa’s cashew industry. This was accomplished through technical sessions
and discussions, wherein the challenges faced by local farmers were addressed, sustainable farming practices were promoted, and advice to enhance cashew yields was shared, thereby, paving the way for a thriving industry that empowers local communities.

Building on the resounding success of Cashew Fest Goa2023, which was declared a state festival by the Chief Minister of Goa, Dr Pramod Sawant,
Season 2 was twice as bigger and better. With attractions ranging from delectable 50+ food and beverage stalls to enlightening technical sessions
and captivating performances by esteemed artists like Dhvani Bhanushali, Akhil Sachdeva, and Ash King, attendees were in for an unforgettable experience. Adding to the excitement, this year’s festival also featured
performances by acclaimed national and Goan bands such as True Blue, Crimson Tide, and Mark Revlon.

The highlight of the festival was undoubtedly the Sundowner event, where
attendees grooved to the beats of well-known bands like Jazz Junction, Anicca Project and Jukebox Trio. DJ Harsha, DJ Afroz, and DJ Azim also spun out foot-tapping tunes, leaving guests with unforgettable memories of evenings spent well under the Goan sky.

Before the grandeur of Cashew Fest Goa 2024 Season 2 unfolded, the captivating preevent, Cashew Fiesta, set the stage for what attendees could
expect at the main festival. Held on the 30th of April at the scenic Cazcar Distilleries in Nanora, this prelude provided an exclusive insight into the
upcoming festivities. Attendees were treated to a diverse range of activities, including a poetry competition titled ‘Cashew – The Fruit of Goa’ in both English and Konkani. This competition showcased the literary talents of participants, with the top 10 contestants from each category invited to recite their poems at the pre-event. Additionally, a thought-provoking panel discussion focused on the highlights, key insights, challenges, and solutions encountered in the production of cashew, offering attendees a deeper understanding of the industry’s intricacies.

Furthermore, the preevent paid homage to the backbone of the cashew
industry – the farmers – with a heartfelt felicitation ceremony. This gesture of
appreciation celebrated their invaluable contributions to Goa’s rich cashew heritage. Adding a tantalising touch to the prelude was a sumptuous tasting session of cashew-based delicacies. Crafted specially for the occasion by Fierce Kitchen in collaboration with Kamaxi School of Culinary Arts, these dishes provided a preview of the culinary delights awaiting attendees at the main festival.

The main festival was no doubt a resounding success, which witnessed an impressive turnout right on its opening day as crowds flocked to explore the 78 stalls set up for the occasion. The stalls, which were mandated to offer cashew in at least 75% of their offerings, showcased the versatility of the cashew nut in all its delectable forms. From stalls like Moji Feni and Goenchi Feni selling the traditional Goan Feni with its spiced up variants to others like Jambhale Cashews selling the cashew nut in its spicy avatar, Cashew Fest Goa 2024 had it all for cashew lovers and enthusiasts alike. Cashew Fest Goa Season 2 was an experience worth a lifetime, a festival like never before, which carefully wove together t r a d i t i o n , culture, and sustainability, to create a melange of enduring experiences.

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