Cashew farmers in Bardez depressed over destruction of plantations due to fire


 Cashew farmers in many parts of Bardez are quite depressed due to the destruction of the cashew crop due to forest fires and apprehend a low yield.
Many cashew trees are seen burnt down which has made the cashew farmers  panicky.
Many cashew plantations in various hills of Bardez are badly affected and are destroyed due to forest fires.   It is believed that many a times some miscreants set fire to the dry grass on the hills and this fire then spreads and destroys cashew plants. Ironically, the fire is set to the grass at a time when the cashew trees are still flowering.  At other times it is learnt that a cigarette stump thrown in the grass also catches fire and this then spreads in no time. Some cashew farmers also point out that sometimes  in extreme hot conditions sparks fall from high tension overhead power lines which pass through hills and these sparks which fall on dry grass also result in ravaging fires.
Many cashew farmers are quite apprehensive about the cashew yield this year.  Besides the fires,  another reason for the expected drop in cashew yield is suspected to be the flourishing acacia trees planted on hills by the forest department.
Cashew farmers believe that this has been a wrong move and acacia trees planted among fruit bearing trees can  lower the yield of the crop.
A cashew farmer, Mr Hanumant Govekar has pointed out that till date the cashew season is just setting in  most areas, but he  is quite appalled with the incidents taking place such as destruction of flowering trees by setting them on fire and the acacia trees that are spreading all over.
Mr Govekar feels that  planting of acacia trees should be  discouraged. Another cashew farmer, Mr Vaingankar from Siolim feels that it is too early to comment on what could be the yield but is also of the view that there could be a possible drop in yield considering various external factors  [NT]