What is Hack-A-Cashew?

Know what the 'Hack-A-Cashew' initiative is all about...
Cashew plantation in Goa
Cashew plantation in Goa Rohan Fernandes

Wondering what ‘Hack-A-Cashew’ is all about? Don't worry, here's all you need to know about this one-of-a-kind hackathon, launched on the occasion of National Startup Day, January 16, 2023.

This hackathon is being conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Goa, with the Atal Incubation Centre at Goa Institute of Management (AIC-GIM) as a knowledge partner.

IT and Tourism Minister of Goa, Rohan Khaunte, cutting the ribbon to launch the Hack-a-cashew hackathon
IT and Tourism Minister of Goa, Rohan Khaunte, cutting the ribbon to launch the Hack-a-cashew hackathon

INTRODUCING HACK-A-CASHEW

'Hack-A-Cashew’ hackathon was announced by Information Technology and Tourism Minister of Goa, Rohan Khaunte, at the ‘Startup Investor Day’ event at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, campus in South Goa.

Cashew is an important cash crop of Goa. This one-of-a-kind hackathon, on the occasion of National Startup Day, is aimed at revitalising the cashew ecosystem in Goa through innovative ideas and solutions in order to increase the cashew yield in the state," said CEO of AIC-GIM, Rajesh Joshi.

(L-R) Nikita Alve Ecosystem Manager AIC-GIM, Abhishek Singh  Incubation Manager AIC-GIM, Rohan Khaunte IT and Tourism Minister of Goa, Swati Salgaocar Dir. Vimson Group, Chairperson CII Goa and Rajesh Joshi
(L-R) Nikita Alve Ecosystem Manager AIC-GIM, Abhishek Singh Incubation Manager AIC-GIM, Rohan Khaunte IT and Tourism Minister of Goa, Swati Salgaocar Dir. Vimson Group, Chairperson CII Goa and Rajesh Joshi

He added that through the hackathon, they intend to create a platform for ideas which will revive and rejuvenate interest as well as add an efficient edge to various processes involved in cashew nut farming, production and processing in the state.

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HOW IT ALL BEGAN

Last year, the state reported a nearly 50 percent drop in the annual cashew yield, as a result of which a unique hackathon, Hack-A-Cashew, was introduced.

Applications were invited from innovators to provide innovative ideas and solutions to increase the state’s cashew yield.

With the help of these solutions and ideas, the state aims to examine novel ways and means to boost the cashew output in Goa.

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THE FINDINGS

When the CII and AIC-GIM teams visited various cashew growers and industry experts in the state, they realised that the state faced various issues.

LACKING GI

According to them, Goa doesn't export enough cashew nuts despite large tracts of uncultivated land in the state being available for farming.

The lack of Geographical Indication (GI) labelling on Goan cashew products has also resulted in farmers earning low rates for their cashew crop.

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WOES OF CASHEW FARMERS

The cashew farmers expressed concerns related to identifying, preventing and eliminating a specific pest afflicting cashew plantations and developing a commercial graft, or variety, that is appropriate for the local soil and temperature.

They also said that mechanised solutions to dry cashew nuts would help quicken the process. Digitisation can also aid cashew farmers by equipping them with the latest weather updates which can prepare them for climatic conditions in advance.

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Cashew growers also highlighted the need for innovation in food processing and adding value to cashew apple and cashew nut products.

BOOSTING THE CASHEW INDUSTRY

So, in order to boost the entrepreneurial potential of the local youth, the CII and AIC-GIM are encouraging startup ideas related to mechanical, digital, agritech, value-addition and sustainability solutions in the area of cashew production.

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CALLING PARTICIPANTS

Interested participants can register on www.aicgim.in/hackacashew.

Shortlisted candidates will receive mentoring, pilot opportunity, access to finance, and related incubation services from AIC-GIM Foundation.

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