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Auctions for cashew zones to begin from January 17

Auctions for cashew zones to begin from January 17

Wed Jan 10 2018

 

The auction of 1,164 cashew zones spread across 11 talukas is set to begin from January 17. The excise department has fixed the dates for auctioning of these zones and is keeping its fingers crossed anticipating better results this season.

 

During the last few years, the excise department has been unable to auction cashew zones in totality, as cashew feni production is besieged with problems, as is the case with other labour intensive enterprises in the state. "Every season, as much as 25-30% of the zones have no bidders," said an official.

 

"Labour charges are very high across Goa. In the past, the whole family would get involved in cashew production activity. Dependence on paid labour was less or rather non-existent," the officer said.

 

With labour becoming pricy, there are not many takers for cashew zones. It is also observed that some traders deliberately do not participate in auctions, so that they can later quote a lesser price for the zones that have no takers.

 

"This happens with zones with less or no competition," an officer said.

 

The excise department has also noticed that some cashew zones only appear on paper as constructions have come up in those areas.

 

"This has happened in Bicholim and other talukas as well," he said. There is a possibility of illegal distillation being carried out in zones that remain unauctioned. "We would be conducting inspections of those zones, and if any production activity is found, we would penalise the person involved," he said.

 

The excise department does not have ownership right to lands under cashew trees, but by the virtue of Goa Excise Act, it has the right to auction cashew zones, said an excise official.

 

Those who bid for cashew zones in the auctions get the right to cashew yield for the season, while separate licences have to be obtained for distilling cashew feni.

 

Goa is the only state in the country that processes cashew apples to distill alcohol (feni).

 

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/