BEWARE OF NAKLI CASHEW NUTS!

With the demand for cashew nuts less than 50% of the supply there is a large-scale manufacturer of poor quality cashew nuts coming into the market in Goa Poriem MLA Deviya Rane seems to be determined to compete with her husband Valpoi MLA Vishwajit Rane in promoting mega shows.

By Rajan Narayan

AND a few stray thoughts for yet another Saturday. For a Saturday following the week when Deviya Rane, the wife of Vishwajit Rane, seems to be in competition not only with not only MLA of Porvorim and Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte, but also with her own husband Vishwajit. For a Saturday following the week when we discovered that Goa is able to produce only 46% of the great demand for cashew nuts. For a Saturday following the week when very selectively roads to be used for G20 delegates and the visit of Home Minister Amit Shah were resurfaced and white-washed. For a Saturday following the week when Goans seem to be only cooking and eating going by Facebook social media posts. For a Saturday following the week with a few details on the G20 summit which was held between Monday to Wednesday, April 17 to April 19 at Taj Convention Centre and the Bambolim Grand Hyatt. For a Saturday following the week when enrollment in government Marathi primary schools continues to decline.

POLITICAL COUPLE IN COMPETITION
AND a few stray thoughts on when Divya Rane, the wife of Vishwajit Rane, seemS to be in competition not only with Rohan Khaunte but also with her own husband to prove a few things. Perhaps Deviya Rane seems to have decided that she is not getting as much as publicity as her husband as a politician in her own right. This provoked her to organize a huge Cashew Fest which was more about eating and drinking and music than cashew nuts.
Normally, in the case of other events organized by our ministers, the publicity appears on the day of the event. In the case of the Cashew Fest there were two-page advertorial advertisements in all the regional papers of Goa, including “The Times of India,” on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. It may be recalled that the Cashew Fest concluded on Saturday, April 15. Perhaps these were bonus thanksgiving advertisements.
Like her other colleagues Deviya Rane has also started distributing awards to makes herself more popular. The Cashew Festival supplement of Tuesday is full of complimentary comments from dozens of so called Deviya Rane admirers like IHCL senior vice-president Vincent Ramos.
In desperation for getting pats on the back even ordinary visitors to the Goa Cashew Fest were quoted saying how much they enjoyed the Cashew Fest. The Cashew Fest appears to have been planned to compete with the Millet festivals. In her capacity as Forests Minister Deviya Rane had the Cashew Fest organized by the Goa Forests Development Corporation Ltd (GFDC). However, Deviya Rane has not taken any responsibility for the over 50 fires which raged for ten days across Goa, including the Mhadei and Netravali wildlife sanctuaries.

CASHEW NUTS IN DEMAND!
AND a few stray thoughts on when we discovered that Goa is able to produce only 46% of the demand for cashew nuts. There is a severe shortage of cashew nuts in relation to demand. We were shocked to know that Goa is able to produce only 46% of the demand for cashew nuts. Part of the problem is that every tourist thinks he has to buy Goan cashew nuts which are in short supply and more expensive. This clearly suggests that they want cashew nuts grown in Goa. Goan cashew nuts have a reputation of being sweeter in taste and flavor, unmatched by cashew nuts from Kerala or Karnataka.
The disproportionate demand for cashew nuts has led to large scale racketeering in the cashew nut market. The rumor is that some Marwari traders have even come up with “artificial” cashew nuts. Even traditional Goan cashew nut retailers depend now on imported cashew nuts for their retail stock. Many cashew nut business houses import raw cashew nuts from African countries for processing in Goa. However, these do not have same flavor or feel of Goan cashews. Also, as the case of fishing, the best cashew nuts are grabbed by five-star luxury hotels in Goa because only they can afford the best.
So don’t be surprised or deceived when you are next shopping for Goan cashew nuts, beware of being cheated in the hundreds of shops retailing cashew nuts as Goan cashew nuts. Learn to recognize between Goan and fake which may be priced low or higher if pretending to be Goan cashews nuts.
It is clear that the government is not concerned about increasing the cultivation and production of cashew nuts. It makes no sense to include the cashew nut business under the forest department. Cashew nuts should ideally be under the agricultural department. There are many countries apart from India and especially African countries which are investing in cashew nut tree plantations but they don’t have the processing facilities to separate nuts from fruit which is a complicated fruit. So as of now the cashew industry and the government of Goa are losing large amount of revenue on imported and “fake” cashew nuts flooding the market places.

G20 ROADS QUICK FIXED!
AND a few stray thoughts on when selectively the roads of capital city Panaji and Goa were quick fixed for the eyes of G20 Health Summit VVIPs and VIPs from abroad as well as the visiting Home Minister Amit Shah. The roads down which they were going to travel step down on were re-surfaced with fresh white lines running down them on both sides. G20 is made up of some of the most powerful people of the G20 countries which include Argentina,Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Irtaly, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye, United Kingdom and United States including the European Union. It was established for extending mutual support and particularly aid from the richer countries to the poorer countries in the group. G20 has special significance for India as Narendra Modi has been elected to be the present president of the powerful and influential G20 for the current year.
After several G20 meetings across the country there will be a mega summit to be attended by the Prime Ministers/ Presidents of all the G20 countries June 2023. In preparation various departments such as agriculture, health and finance are presently meeting in various parts of the country. Tamasha like G20 are of little or no use to hosts like Goa. Between the State and Central governments there must be public expenditure of over Rs100 crore to host and entertain just a 100 delegates from the G20 countries.
Sanjit Rodrigues, G20 convenor, boasts that events like G20 are of great benefit for the local community. When asked to specify he insisted that public infrastructure gets boosted. Admittedly some roads and structures have been beautified but it looks like this was limited only for roads and streets down which the G20 delegates would be travelling – when everything would come to a stop for them to pass by.
In Panaji, for example, the main thoroughfare of Dayanand Bandodkar road leading all the way to Old Goa churches complex has been completely re-done and paved. But inner smart city roads like 18 June road, St Inez road and other link streets remain as shabby if not more so because of the road works going as in fits and starts.
Indeed, on April 17, two Municipal vehicles were damaged because the weak road collapsed. I recall that the late prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, attended the centenary celebrations of the Mormugoa Port Trust way back in the 80s. All the roads leading to the MPT were given a grand finish. They were so smooth that you could see your face on the surface of the road. Remo Fernandes was the main entertainment. He song, “Dear Rajiv Gandhi, please come again and again. Because only when VIP comes our roads get repaired…” and so on.

FACEBOOK POSTS
AND a few stray thoughts on when Goans seem to be only cooking and eating according to Facebook culinary posts. The largest number of Facebook posts are dedicated to specialty restaurants and cookery experts. There are dozens of enterprising women and men who demonstrate various meat and vegetarian and various recipes. It is mostly not conventional food as we know it. There also many offers along with the foodie posts and they range from cosmic food to what you may eat and enjoy under the stars watched by the moon.
There are restaurants specializing in vegan food which do not use the ingredients of onions or garlic. I notice the largest number of speciality remarkable restaurants have come up in Assagao. Everyone seems to be relying on several course dinners for fund-raising charities and purposes. The latest to join the fund-raising brigade is the Goa Foundation.

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