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  • Indian cashews struggle to compete with African imports

    Sep 28th, 2016

    Over the last few years Andhra Pradesh and the neighbouring states have developed a taste for African cashew nuts, giving local varieties tough competition. The import of cashews from African countries has been steadily increasing. From India, after processing and adding value, the African cashew is also being sent on to countries like the US and some others in Europe and South East Asia.Imports of African cashew nuts started in 2007-08 at Vizag port, with initially only 10,000 tons. This has gradually increased and in 2015-16, the imports at Vizag container terminal stood at close to 100,000 tons with around 5054 TEUs (20-feet equivalent units or containers).

    This year already 2,000 containers of 20 tons each have been imported. AP occupied sixth rank in terms of number of units and third rank in the processing of cashew nuts in India. Cashew nuts from 36 African countries are being imported.“Since two years, the cashew nut production in Andhra Pradesh has come down to just 25 per cent of the total cashew crop. Besides domestic consumption, we used to export the processed nuts to other countries. Now, we are importing the cashew nuts from African countries, processing them and exporting the cashew kernels to other countries and also to domestic markets,” Palasa Cashew Manufacturers Association president, Malla Srinivas Rao, told this correspondent.

    Andhra Pradesh has about 46,913 hectares of area under cashew cultivation with an annual production of 12,500 tons of raw nuts.There are around 650 cashew processing units in Andhra Pradesh.Mr Rao added that the yield of some cashew nut varieties from Africa is more than 40 per cent against the 20 per cent of the local variety. The size and taste of African cashew from some countries are superior to that of the local variety.