MARGAO: Gawada, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar (GAKUVED) Federation has sought Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant's intervention to increase the fixed price beyond Rs 130 per kg for raw cashew in the State. According to GAKUVED Federation general secretary Rupesh Velip, it may be recalled that large numbers of farmers were worried due to lack of purchase of raw cashew due to lockdown and they were unable to sell their produce during that period. Amidst all speculations leading trading society, Goa Bagayatdar offered a price of Rs 105 per kg and thus the feared farmers had already started selling their produce from Friday to Goa Bagayatdar, Adarsh Krishi Co-operative Credit Society and other local shops at Rs 105 per kg whereas before the lockdown they had sold same at Rs 135 per kg, stated Velip, adding that the price offered was too low compared to the earlier years and not good enough to fetch revenue to guarantee a good living and recover farm cost of poor farmers. Velip further stated that the past record shows that consecutively for two years among the past five years the raw cashew price fetched by farmers was at Rs 160 and Rs 170 per kg. Velip recalled that this year too Adarsh Krishi Co-op Credit Society, Balli, chairman Prakash Velip in February this year had given assurance to farmers that reasonable price will be Rs 134-136 per kg but now it was purchased at 105 per kg only”. The GAKUVED Federation general secretary has asked the State government to recommend online marketing of cashew products and in this view marketing federations from Goa should initiate and devise a networking system unlike Maharashtra to promote a healthy trade of agricultural products. According to Velip, there were reports that farmers were being stopped by police while carrying cashew kernels for selling to Goa Bagayatdar/shops and some alleged that there were being harassed on the ground of violating the lockdown. There were hundreds of farmers who were yet to sell their produce and there should not be any harassment by the police, he demanded. Velip also said that farmers especially from Scheduled Tribes community of talukas such as Sattari, Sanguem, Quepem, Canacona, Ponda, Bicholim and Pernem with maximum cashew cultivation along the sloppy mountains, are adversely affected with a low price fixed by Goa government during these COVID-19 pandemic crises. "The proportionate benefit must also go to farmers but not just to the intermediaries. Therefore the government should bring regulations and must support the farmers with the best possible remedies to sustain their farming interest. The government should also recommend online marketing of cashew products", Velip urged.