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  • 1,000 cashew saplings planted

    Nov 15th, 2016

    lantation programme to be implemented in all 30 factories of KSCDCThe People’s Cashew Plantation programme, at the initiative of the State government and the public sector Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC), took shape on Tuesday at the 13-acre Kottiyam factory complex of the KSCDC complex near here with the planting of 1,000 high-yielding cashew saplings that will start bearing fruit from the third year.KSCDC Chairman S. Jayamohan, who inaugurated the programme, said it is being implemented at the Kottiyam factory complex with the help of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme workers attached to Ithikkara block panchayat and Mayyana grama panchayat.

    Permission for obtaining these workers for the scheme was obtained following talks with Minister for Local Administration K.T. Jaleel.Mr. Jayamohan said that as part of taking forward the programme, one lakh cashew saplings have been produced and readied for distribution from the factory complex.He said that since the Kottiyam factory complex comprises 13 acres, most of the land there will be utilised for the cashew nursery required to promote the programme.Cashew plantations are being promoted in the State by the government because the cashew industry is now almost completely dependent upon import of raw cashew.Because of heavy competition in the international raw nut markets, the price of raw nuts continues to soar coupled with shortage of the commodity.In the past most of the raw nuts which the cashew industry of the State required was produced in the State and other neighbouring States. But as the industry began to grow, cashew plantations in the State began getting replaced with other plantation crops and processors depended on some of the African countries and Vietnam for imports.

    Biggest exporter

    In due time, Vietnam began cashew processing and emerged as the biggest exporter of cashew kernels in the international market. Many other States in the country also started processing cashew and all this contributed to the demand for raw nuts from the producing countries. This situation contributed towards threatening the cashew industry of the State.Mr. Jayamohan said that the plantation programme will be implemented in the compounds of all the 30 factories of the KSCDC.As of now, production in the State is able to meet less than 10 per cent of the State’s demand.The aim of the programme is to meet 50 per cent of the demand in five years, he said.