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Cashew: Growers seek MIP on kernels used in SEZ units

MAR 18 2020

All India Cashew Growers’ Association has expressed apprehension with Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) directive that minimum import price (MIP) on cashew kernels is not applicable for units under Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and Export Oriented Units (EoU). If SEZ/EoU are allowed to import cashew kernels at less than minimum import price, then low quality/low priced cashew kernels will be imported to the domestic market which in turn will affect the cashew kernel prices in India, All India Cashew Growers Association President Nanya Achyuta Moodathaya told DH.

Due to low raw nut prices and mechanised processing, the price of cashew kernels in other countries is less when compared to India. Due to the high quality of nuts and processing in India, Indian cashew kernels enjoy a premium price in the domestic and overseas market. The decline in the price will affect the farmers. “This is the season of cashew nuts and the decline in price will affect the farmers who cultivate it as a commercial sub crop along with other main crops,” he said. In the interest of the farmers, the farmers, the DGFT should withdraw its directive. The minimum import price (MIP) for whole and broken cashew was increased to Rs 680 per kg from Rs 288 per kg. He said due to the coronavirus scare, Vietnam (biggest producers and exporters of cashew nuts) was prevented from exporting cashew nuts to China. The DGFT’s directive will enable the units under SEZ and EoU to import cashew kernels at a lesser price. The association is also looking at an option of filing a case against the directive in the court.

To protect cashew farmers in India, the association urged DGFT to place the import of all types of processed and semi-processed cashew kernels under ‘prohibited’ list. Further, the import duty on raw cashew nuts should be enhanced to benefit local farmers.  Cashew is cultivated in 17 states in India and cashew plantations were expanded in Karnataka. The decline in prices of cashew in the domestic market due to the directive of the DGFT will also affect the expansion of areas under cashew cultivation, he felt. The association has already written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister for Commerce and Industries Piyush Goyal in this regard.

Source:https://www.deccanherald.com/