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A unique event which aimed to give a firsthand experience of the cashew economy of Goa to young research students of Department of Economics, Carmel College of Arts, Science and Commerce for Women, studying about the feni industry in Goa was conceptualized by the Department of Economics of the college and was organized in association with Mr Marius Fernandes popularly known as Goencho Festakar.

Cajuchem Fest was organised at Arao, Pomburpa Bardez – Goa on 30 March 2022 and was hosted by Mr Thomas Fernandes, Cashew Farmer of Pomburpa.
It gave an opportunity to the students to document the whole process of the cashew trade from collecting the cashew apples to the distilling process of urrack and feni. They enthusiastically plucked the cashew fruit from the plantation belonging to Mr. Thomas and participated in the different processes of feni extraction. Under the expert guidance of the skillful farmer and Mr. Marius, the students learnt about the age-old method of feni extraction and the various challenges faced to keep this occupation alive.

Special invitee, Dr. Maryanne Lobo, ayurvedic physician, explained the different medicinal uses of feni besides it being Goa’s heritage drink.
The students also learnt the art of roasting the cashew seeds and extraction of cashew nuts. They were also introduced to a traditional game using cashew seeds which was a popular game of yesteryears.

It was a different learning experience for the students who also acknowledged with deep appreciation the contribution of our Goan farmers and environmentalists who strive to keep Goan traditions alive and who work tirelessly to conserve them for posterity.
Mr. Prakash Kamat, Senior Journalist, who was present at the fest, also interacted with the students and faculty of Carmel College. The program ended with a visit to the nearby Pomburpa spring.