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  • Buyers will have to shell out more for cashew nuts

    Apr 10th, 2016

    PANAJI : Poor supplies of raw cashews   are going to make the nut costlier for the consumer in 2016. According to Goa’s cashew processing industry, prices are going to increase at the retail level and customers will be definitely shelling out more for the all-favorite finished cashew nuts in the current year. Exports are also going down as the industry is facing a decline in produce, said processors.“An accurate estimation of price spike at the retail level can be made in the next 15 days as we come to know by how much the crop is going to decline this season,” said Madhav Sahakari, Goa Cashew Processors Association.The agriculture department expects cashew yield to be lower by 25 per cent, but according to the processing industry, the actual decline in produce could be as high as 30-35 per cent.“We will not be able to transact our usual volume of business and workers will be adversely affected,” said Sahakari. Workers are paid on piece rate basis and since they will have lesser raw cashews to process they will draw lesser wages, he explained.

    The cashew industry primarily employs women.

    Cashew nut exporter A S Kamath said the industry dynamics has not been working out for exporters and processors in the current season. The international rate for finished nuts has been low while at home the price of the raw cashew nuts is high. There is a mismatch in the sales realization making exports unviable from Goa, said Kamath.In 2014-15, cashew kernel export from the MPT was 947 tonne, which was up by 27 per cent over 747 tonne in the previous year. The industry imported 543 tonne of raw cashew and, was a net exporter.Meantime cashew rate in the wholesale market has started going up due to poor harvest. The rate during early arrivals was Rs 115 per kg and currently it is Rs 121 per kg.In 2015, the cashew season opened at Rs 109 per kg, pointed out processors. Our purchase price works out at Rs 130 per kg after factoring in the cost of transportation and drying, said Sahakari.The cashew crop has been poor this season due to climatic reasons caused by warm winter. The crop is also late by two-three weeks. Union budget 2016-17 has not been favourable to cashew processors with the government imposing five per cent import duty. After adding three per cent for education cess and four per cent as special import duty, the duty works out to 9.36 per cent.