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  • Cashew industry facingstiff challenge, says CM

    Sep 2nd, 2017

    Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said the cashew industry cannot be propped up and sustained for the sake of workers alone. “A good market and good price for kernels produced by the industry here should also be ensured,” the Chief Minister said while addressing a gathering here on Saturday. He arrived here to inaugurate the distribution of appointment order to 5,000 cashew workers freshly appointed by the public sector Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC).“The cashew industry here which enjoyed monopoly over kernel production in the past is now facing stiff competition in the domestic and international markets because some countries that had been engaged only in raw nut export to India in the past are now processing raw nuts and exporting kernels,” he said.

    Mr. Vijayan said the required availability of raw cashew nuts was vital for the survival of the industry here. It is this aspect that prompted the government to promote cashew plantations in the State.At present, the State annually produced only about 80,000 tonnes of raw nuts, whereas the requirement by cashew factories was more than six-lakh tonnes.The State has plenty of geographically suitable terrain for cashew plantations and steps are being taken to tap such area. If the required raw nuts were available at fair price, it would bring much relief to the cashew industry, he said.

    “The programme of the KSCDC to promote cashew plantations is a model scheme in this connection.” The government is complementing that programme through the Haritha Keralam Mission, Mr. Vijayan said.“The State government is in no way averse to recognising that there has to be changes to the approach towards the cashew sector as per the needs of the times,” he said.When it comes to cashew workers, the government did not distinguish between private sector and public sector. The interests of all workers had to be protected, he said.

    The new phase of recruitments made by the KSCDC reflected the priority of the State government in this connection. Minister for Cashew Industry J. Mercykutty Amma presided over the function and KSCDC chairman S. Jayamohan welcomed the gathering.