Thursday, April 9, 2015

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Domestic cashew market is growing faster than exports

  • Thursday, April 9, 2015
  • Thùy Miên
  • KOCHI: Increasing domestic cashew consumption is affecting India's exports of the nut that is a rich source of anti-aging agents. With local demand increasing 15% annually, consumption in India has overtaken that of the US and Europe, the principal buyers of Indian cashew. 

    "The annual Indian consumption is hovering around 2 lakh tonne compared with about 1.3 lakh tonne in the US and 80,000 tonne in Europe," said Pankaj N Sampat, director of Mumbai-based Samsons Traders. India's exports have been around 1.2 lakh tonne a year. 

    With cashew's popularity increasing, its processing, which was limited to the four southern states, is spreading to other places. "Cashew has seen several new origins like Gujarat, West Bengal and Maharashtra in the past few years," said K Prakash Rao, managing partner of Kalbavi Cashews. This has increased the number of processors, putting pressure on the availability for processing systems, said Rao. The booming local market has hindered the growth of exports, he added. Cashew is a major foreign exchange earner for India. 

    Though official figures are yet to come out, value of cashew exports in 2014-15 was estimated to have surpassed Rs 5,000 crore, achieved in the previous year. Till the end of February 2015, cashew worth Rs 4,986 crore was exported. 

    Vietnam, a major producer, exports almost the entire production as its domestic consumption is marginal. 

    The problems confronted by the export market - like the high price of imported raw cashew nuts, rising cost of production and a lower price in the world market - have also worked in favour of domestic consumption.
    - India Times
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    2

    Cashew kernel market shows some buoyancy on tight supplies

  • Thùy Miên
  • KOCHI, APRIL 8:  
    The global cashew market has shown some buoyancy last month and the trend is expected to remain in April, after remaining subdued in January and February.

    “Reasonable activity was witnessed in March and most of the business was for shipments up to May/June. However, some business was done for shipments in the second half of 2015,” trade sources said.

    Last month cashew kernel prices were – depending on the processor and shipment period – in the range for W240 from $3.65-3.85; W320 $3.40-3.60; W450 $3.15-3.25; SW320 $3.25-3.35; splits $2.90-3.10 and pieces $2.85-3 all per lb (fob).

    “In the last 2-3 weeks, prices for WW320 and SW320 have moved to the higher end of the range with hardly any offers near the lower end of the range,” Pankaj N Sampat, a Mumbai-based dealer, told BusinessLine.

    Broken grades continue to be tight supplied as yield per tonne of Raw Cashew Nuts (RCN) has come down to normal levels and even below normal for more efficient shellers, and usage, especially in Asia, has gone up, he said.

    In the first quarter of 2015, Indian shellers have been served a double blow, he said.

    First, a huge wage increase in Kerala which has made processing very uncompetitive.

    And this week, a reduction in duty credit from 5 per cent to 2 per cent of FOB value for all exports after April 1.

    Higher productivity and cheap labour has steered Vietnam to the top rung as the producer of RCN and exporter of cashew Kernel, pushing India to the second slot, he pointed out.

    According to Pankaj, Northern Hemisphere crops, which are projected as 75 per cent of the world production, are currently being harvested.

    Crops are expected to be good in most areas. There is, however, concern about lower quantity in some areas and lower kernel yields in some others.

    Also, there is concern that logistic issues in some countries might delay the movement of RCN to Vietnam and India.

    RCN prices were trending lower in February on expectation of good crops but started moving up from mid-March due to slow arrivals.

    Currently, India and Vietnam RCN are trading in the range of $1,450-1,500 a tonne. Prices from West Africa are in the range of $ 1,100-1,300 a tonne c&f, depending on origin, quality, shipment period, payment terms.
    -The Hindu
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    State govt urged to formulate cashew policy

  • Thùy Miên
  • MLC Ivan D’Souza has urged the State government to formulate cashew policy to promote scientific cultivation of cashew and increase the production in the State. 

    Briefing reporters, on Saturday, he said without scientific cultivation, growers are not getting the expected yield. With reduction in supply of cashewnuts, manufacturers have to depend on foreign countries to import. A total of 96,216 tonne cashewnuts are produced in the State. The area under cashew cultivation in Dakshina Kannada is 32,756 and total production is 21,062 tonne. There is a need to promote high yielding variety of cashewnuts to increase the production in the district. 

    Budgetary allocation
    Stating that the Centre has reduced budgetary allocations to the State by 30 to 35 per cent for implementing the welfare programmes including mid-day meals, he asked as how much the Centre has given to the State for carrying out Swacch Bharath Abhiyan. The farmers have not been given anything by the Centre in its budget as it has considered agriculture as a state subject. The State should receive same budgetary allocation which it used to receive during the tenure of previous UPA government, he added. 

    Stating that the National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre has failed to initiate appropriate action to bring back the black money stashed in foreign banks, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has failed to fulfill the election promises. While campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, Modi had said that, if voted to power, the NDA government would bring back the black money within 100 days of forming the Government. It was unfortunate that even after completing 10 months, the NDA government at the Centre had failed to put in serious efforts to bring back the black money. 

    By brining in an amendment to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, the Centre has proved that it is following anti-farmer policy. The Youth Congress in Dakshina Kannada district will take out a padayatre to create awareness among the people on the amendment on April 18. 

    By opening zero balance account under Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana, the government has not done anything for the poor. In fact, the Jan Dhan Yojana was not a new scheme as it was implemented by the previous UPA government under financial inclusion. 
    - deccanherald.com
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    For cashew exporters, foreign trade policy is a dampener

  • Thùy Miên
  • MANGALURU, APRIL 2:  
    Cashew exporters view the new Foreign Trade Policy as a major blow to the industry. They feel the reduction of incentives available to cashew exports under Chapter 3 of the Foreign Trade Policy from 5 per cent to 2 per cent as the main reason for this.

    Walter D’Souza, former president of the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India, told BusinessLine that scaling down of Chapter 3 benefits such as Vishesh Krishi Grameen Upaj Yojana (VKGUY) by 3 per cent under the new name of Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS) will have far reaching repercussions on exports. 

    Advantage Vietnam
    Explaining this, K Prakash Rao of Kalbavi Cashews (an exporter from Mangaluru), said India has already lost the world’s largest cashew exporter tag to Vietnam.

    Vietnam gained advantage from cheap labour and a jump in its raw cashew production.

    Vietnam’s national average productivity of raw cashew nut is 2.1 tonnes a hectare against some 0.78 tonnes a hectare in India.

    However, India had stayed put in global market because of the VKGUY benefit of 5 per cent.

    “Markets are so competitive that every exporter in India factors this 5 per cent in his sale price and sells in the overseas market,” he said. D’Souza said that the scaling down of the VKGUY benefit had come into effect from April 1.

    It is imperative that the earlier incentives are restored or at least continued until June 30, he said.

    Export trades
    Stating that most of the export trades take place three to six month in advance, B Rahul Kamath, President of Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers’ Association, said: “We would have made export commitments factoring 5 per cent benefits under Chapter 3. Overnight reduction in incentives cannot be factored, and exporters stand to lose heavily on the export commitments made by them.”

    Prakash Rao said that by now most of the exporters have sold cashew kernels against this right up to October-November.

    This sudden cut of 3 per cent will take the wind out of the exporters and may even result in many failing to keep their commitments. He said that 3 per cent drop in realisation will wipe out their working capital margin money and may result in upsetting the working of the industry this year.

    Urging the Government to increase the benefits under MEIS for export of cashew kernels to 5 per cent, Kamath said this will go a long way in cherishing the ‘Make in India’ dream.
    - The Hindu
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    Karnataka cashew industry unhappy over foreign trade policy

  • Thùy Miên
  • MANGALURU, APRIL 2:  
    The cashew industry has expressed displeasure over the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20, which was announced by the Union Commerce Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, in New Delhi on Wednesday.

    B Rahul Kamath, President of Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers’ Association (KCMA), said the Government has reduced incentives available to cashew exports under Chapter 3 of FTP from 5 per cent to 2 per cent. This overnight decrease in incentive scheme will affect the entire cashew industry very severely.

    Export trade commitments

    Stating that most of the export trade takes place three to six months in advance, he said: “We would have made export commitments factoring 5 per cent benefits under Chapter 3. Overnight reduction in incentives cannot be factored, and exporters stand to lose heavily on the export commitments made by them.”

    Stating that Vietnam has already cornered a major share in world cashew trade, he said China is also increasing its cashew processing base. The collapse of cashew industry will have a serious effect on the socio-economic condition of rural areas, he said.

    Urging the Government to increase the benefits under MEIS (merchandise export from India scheme) for the export of cashew kernels to 5 per cent from 2 per cent, Kamath said this will go a long way in cherishing the ‘Make in India’ dream. “We will soon regain India’s past glory by being the world’s largest cashew exporter,” he said.
    - The Hindu
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    Kerala’s shortcut to cashew imports upsets trade unions

  • Thùy Miên
  • KOCHI, MARCH 30:  
    The Kerala Government’s efforts in promoting raw cashew imports through Tuticorin with short sea shipping to Kollam Port, bypassing the major port of Kochi, have irked trade unions.

    “The move will divert Kochi Port’s conventional cargo and cost the port dearer, affecting its revenue earnings substantially,” trade unions said while pointing out the under performance of Vallarpadam Terminal due to lack of cargo support from the hinterland.

    Raw cashew shipments are a major commodity through Kochi bringing considerable revenue, with the port handling 12,000 TEUs per year, which is increasing consistently year on year. As per the figures available, Tuticorin Port imports 60 per cent of the 7.5 lakh tonnes of raw cashew imports and the remaining by Kochi.

    The Cochin Port Joint Trade Union Forum has also taken strong exception to the Kerala Port Minister’s recent statement, saying that the Minister was well aware of the commercial importance of Kochi Port, which is striving hard to regain its past glory with the support of all stakeholders including the state government. According to unions, Kerala Ports department is close to inking a pact with neighbouring Tuticorin Port for the promotion of cashew imports utilising the Kollam Port facilities. The move, according to them, would eat away a major share of cashew imports of Kochi and reduce the existing job potential here.

    Denying any such moves to torpedo the prospects of Kochi in cashew shipments, Kerala Port Minister K Babu told BusinessLine the initiatives taken by Kollam Port is part of their marketing strategy to remain competitive in the present day business environment.

    Each port is free to take its own business strategies to attract cargo for their existence. This has been made possible after the government’s initiatives to promote coastal shipping movement in the state by improving the berthing facilities in minor ports at an investment of ₹120 crore and providing incentives for coastal cargo movement.

    However, the Minister added that the government is ready to discuss the issues with the Kochi port management and trade unions to allay their fears. The state government is willing to roll out all possible help to Kochi Port to get its deserved share in raw cashew handling.
    - The Hindu
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    Tuesday, March 17, 2015

    4

    Palasa cashew processing capacity doubles

  • Tuesday, March 17, 2015
  • Thùy Miên
  • Cashew processing capacity at Palasa in Srikakulam district, has more than doubled over the last three years on the back new plants and mechanisation of the existing ones.
    As of now, there are 250 units operating in Palasa and Kasibugga from around 210 processing units some three years ago. Besides, about 65 per cent of the existing units had become fully automated leading to an increase in the capacity, said Malla Srinivasa Rao, president, Palasa Cashew Manufacturers Association.
    clip_image001The processing capacity has increased to 500-550 tonne a day from about 250 tonne three years ago, he added. Each unit has seen an investment of Rs 15-20 lakh in mechanisation. For instance, a labour used to process 10 kg nuts in 8 hours earlier, but post mechanisation, about 100 kg nuts could be processed in just one hour. The news ones are small and medium scale units, he said.
    Meanwhile, the Palasa Cashew Manufacturers Association has decided to stop processing operations from April 1 as the labourers are demanding a wage hike, Rao said.
    According to him, in April last year, the wage was increased 32 per cent for women workers and 20 per cent for men. Of the total 10,000 direct employees in the Palasa cashew industry around 90 per cent comprises women workers and they get around Rs 300 a day. “The workers are now demanding a 75 per cent hike for the next two years. This is not agreeable to our association, hence we have decided to close the units from April 1 till the new wages are finalised,” he added.

    - business-standard.com

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    Monday, March 16, 2015

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    MP promises boost to cashew sector

  • Monday, March 16, 2015
  • Thùy Miên
  • Dakshina Kannada Member of Parliament Nalin Kumar Kateel on Sunday said he was aware of the problems being faced by the cashew industry and promised to render “all possible help”.

    Speaking after inaugurating the platinum jubilee celebrations of Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers’ Association here, Mr. Kateel urged the association office bearers to visit New Delhi for discussions with the Ministries concerned.

    clip_image001He said reduction in cashew production, which is a good source of foreign exchange to the country, was a matter of concern and all should work towards addressing problems being faced by the industry.

    Association president B. Rahul Kamath urged the government to give priority to value addition to cashew apple to encourage cultivation of cashew nut trees. Platinum Jubilee celebration committee chairman Walter D’Souza submitted a memorandum to MLC Ivan D’Souza urging the government to come out with a Cashew Policy to promote the cultivation of the crop.

    The association would distribute more than 60,000 cashew saplings to farmers across the State before June 23 to encourage cultivation, Mr. D’Souza said.

    - The Hindu

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    ‘Promote use of cashew apple’

  • Thùy Miên
  • 4 lakh tonnes of the fruit being wasted in a year in State

    Cashew manufacturers on Saturday sought the State government’s help for farmers to make use of cashew apple that is being wasted in a large quantity.

    At the inauguration of platinum jubilee of the Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers Association (KCMA) here, president of the celebration committee Walter D’Souza urged Minister for Health U.T. Khader to ensure that farmers growing cashew realised the commercial value of the apple.

    clip_image001Recently, KCMA said that about 4 lakh tonnes of cashew apple was being wasted in a year in Karnataka and the association had decided to focus on ensuring that the pulp containing nutrients is put to good use. It suggests that its vast potential could be harnessed in multiple ways such as making juice out of it – a project that can be given to self help groups – and growers who lacked knowledge about this need to be educated.

    Reflecting on the “sparkling history” of KSMA, Mr. D’Souza said the cashew industry employed 50,000 people, mostly women, and the turnover had gone from Rs. 12 crore in 1955 to Rs. 2,400 crore now – a 200-times growth. The exports had grown 100 times from Rs. 8 crore in 1955 to Rs. 800 crore now.

    The industry, which used to rely on manual processes of breaking the nuts, had fully mechanised it. He said the KCMA would show that cashew could be affordable to the middle class.

    Mr. Khader urged the KCMA to convince people about its stated health benefits and promote it on the lines of the promotions for egg as a healthy product. The Minister said the government would stand by the association.

    - The Hindu

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    Wednesday, March 11, 2015

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    Cashew farmers seek relief

  • Wednesday, March 11, 2015
  • Thùy Miên
  • Cadre of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) staged a demonstration in front of the Revenue Divisional Office at Udayarpalayam on Tuesday demanding compensation for cashew farmers who have been affected by drought-like conditions.

    clip_image001

    S. S. Sivasankar, Kunnam MLA and district secretary of DMK, V.K.Rajendran, Convenor, party’s farmers wing of the district, and N.R.Ramadorai, convenor of the party’s farm labourers wing, participated in the agitation.

    Mr. Sivasankar said that cashew farmers have been affected due to drought-like condition. Though relief has been given to other crops like groundnut, cashew farmers have been left out. He said that a cashew farmer of Irumbulikurichi had committed suicide last year unable to bear debt burden.

    Cashew is a major crop raised in Ariyalur district in Andimandam, Senthurai and Jayamkondam blocks and parts of Tha.Pazhur. Normally, farmers harvest five to nine bags (80 kg) an acre as yield. One kg of cashew nut costs Rs. 500 a kg. Cashew nut along with the shell costs Rs. 105 a kg. But farmers have not been able make a good harvest for the past three years. “Trees did not even bloom due to the drought,” he added.

    The Hindu

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    Tuesday, March 10, 2015

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    Raw cashew nut prices hit all-time high by crossing Rs 100 per kg mark

  • Tuesday, March 10, 2015
  • Thùy Miên
  • Cashew farmers are all smiles as raw nut prices have touched Rs 102 a kg in select markets of Goa and Kerala. Traders say this is the highest ever season opening price in the history of the trade.
    Around the same time last year, raw cashew nut prices had touched Rs 95 a kg and then dropped to Rs 83 a kg. The trigger for the steep spike in prices this year is short supply. In Kerala, farm gate prices are between Rs 94 and Rs 97 a kg.
    “Normally, prices will be high at the beginning of the season and decline as harvesting progresses. This year, it is unlikely to see a big fall as there is a shortage of material even in Tanzania and West African markets,” said G Giridhar Prabhu, a Mangaluru-based exporter and former vice-chairman of the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India.

    clip_image001ON A HIGH

    • This is the highest ever season opening price in the history of cashew nut trade in India
    • Around the same time last year, raw cashew nut prices had touched Rs 95 a kg and then dropped to Rs 83 a kg
    • The trigger for the steep spike in prices this year is the short supply of nuts
    • India imports around 750,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts every year to meet the requirements of processing units
    • Domestic production varies between 400,000 and 550,000 tonnes
    • India exports around 120,000 tonnes of cashew kernels annually
    • Last week’s unseasonal rains in many growing regions would benefit the crop in the form of better growth

    The landed price of nuts from Tanzania was Rs 92 a kg this year. The crop in Tanzania was less this year, resulting in higher price for Indian importers. According to Prabhu, prices are expected to go down by at least Rs 10 a kg.
    India imports around 750,000 tonnes of raw nuts every year to meet the requirements of processing units. Domestic production varies between 400,000 and 550,000 tonnes. India exports around 120,000 tonnes of cashew kernels annually.
    According to Prabhu, last year’s prolonged monsoon rains, which lasted till November in many growing regions of the west coast, have delayed crop harvesting. He added the flowering as well as fruit setting in cashew orchards was delayed because of the rains and, as a result, the harvesting was yet to start in many areas. Delayed by a month, harvesting is likely to begin in April across Karnataka, Maharashtra and parts of Goa.
    However, last week’s unseasonal rains in many growing regions would benefit the crop.
    “The shortage of raw material is a huge problem for processing units this year because the 2014 crop is exhausted. In the past four years, the carry-over stock was left unprocessed. This year, however, due to expansion of processing units and lower crop, the industry is likely to face shortage,” Prabhu said.
    He said raw nut prices have doubled in the past seven to eight years, compared to Rs 45-50 a kg in 2007-08. “In fact, prices have grown 100 times in the past 42 years. In 1972, raw cashew nut was sold at Rs 102 a quintal by farmers,” Prabhu recalled.
    As a result of the rise in raw nut prices, the processed cashew nut (kernel) prices in the retail market are currently Rs 800-1,000 a kg in super markets.

    - Business Standard

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    0

    Benin: The gov’t fixed the price of Cashew to FCFA 225 /Kg

  • Thùy Miên
  • The government of Benin has decided this week to increase the price of cashew in the country to FCFA 225/Kg for the 2014/2015 campaign against   FCFA 200 in 2013/2014.

    According to an official of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and SMEs who requested anonymity but quoted by Xinhua news agency, this trend reflects the growing importance of cashew in agriculture in Benin. “This speculation which agricultural production area covers six of the twelve districts of the country is becoming increasingly important as socio-economically and environmentally.” He told Xinhua, before illustrating his point with statistics.

    clip_image001According to a study by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Benin, raw cashew nut exports of Benin on the international market, especially in China, Indonesia, Vietnam and the European Union have evolved in recent years, going from 19,174 tons in 1997 to 69,357 tons in 2006.

    “This increase in the penetration of Beninese cashew in the international market, coupled with an improved margin of farmers and other stakeholders showed cashew as a strategic product whose development prospects are promising,” reveals the study.

    According to the Chief of Staff of the Benin Minister of Agriculture, despite this favorable situation of the moment, the trend in the medium term self-sufficiency in Asian countries should guide national policy to a sustained increase in local processing.

    Thus, the area under cultivation has increased from 165,000 ha to 191,000 ha between 1998 and 2007. For the current campaign, the country expects to produce about 120,000 tons.

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    Monday, March 9, 2015

    0

    Cashew nut prices hit century mark

  • Monday, March 9, 2015
  • Thùy Miên
  • PANAJI: This season's first produce of cashew nuts has hit a morale-boosting century mark, with prices scaling a new milestone at Rs102-105 per kilo. It's an over 100% rise in prices from just seven years ago when a kilo drew Rs48-50.
    It's not just the unique flavour of Goa's cashew nuts that are attracting the pricing. "More and more people are savouring the cholesterol-free and nutrient-rich product, as it has been belatedly realized, especially if it is consumed in raw form as white kernel," said A S Kamath, adviser, Goa Cashew Processors Association.
    clip_image001Though the prices are expected to stabilize later in the season as the availability of raw material improves with more supplies, even the kernel or the processed nut has shown a significant rise from Rs450-500 per kilo in 2014 to Rs500-600 per kilo this season.

    The prices have been growing steadily from Rs45-50 in 2008 to Rs50-55 in 2009, Rs62-65 in 2010, and Rs85-90 in 2011. While there was a dip to Rs70-75 in 2012, the rise continued to Rs90-95 in 2014.
    The unseasonal rain is being considered by local growers to be a blessing. The showers will boost the crop, though the flowering is likely to be delayed, said sources.
    Madhav Sahakari, president, Goa Cashew Manufacturers Association, told TOI, "The prospect of a better crop this year compared to the poorer crop globally last year appears to be good at this stage."
    The decline in crop is also a reason for the spike in prices. Despite Goa's modest production of about 20,000 tonnes of cashew nuts per annum, the state's cashew farmers find themselves reaping the benefit of rising prices.
    "In 2008, USA was the biggest consumer of cashew nuts, but domestic consumption has doubled and India is presently the largest consumer," said Kamath.
    While India is the largest producer and processor, Vietnam has carved a niche for itself as the largest exporter. This is attributed to the marginal domestic consumption, and the produce ends up being bulkily exported, said sources.
    Goan cashew nuts are known for their taste and quality, as farmers gather only mature ones after they fall to the ground. Local farmers consider the cashew crop as one of the most rewarding agricultural activities. "Minimal care is required and the crop grows in areas where nothing much else grows," said Kamath.
    But despite the support price provided by the state government, the state's production has been stagnating for a few years. Maharashtra is considered the model state encouraging cashew production and processing through various incentives. The industry taps locally available raw material and provides employment opportunities at the rural level.
    "One bag of raw cashew nuts can offer employment to three to four persons per day," said Kamath.

    - India Times

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    Cashew body festival to focus on farmer empowerment

  • Thùy Miên
  • MANGALURU, MARCH 4: 

    Focus on the empowerment of cashew growers will be part of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers’ Association (KCMA). The year-long event will begin with a two-day event in Mangaluru on Mach 14.

    clip_image001A press release by KCMA said here on Wednesday that the event will showcase the strength of the industry and unveil the vision for the next 15 years. Apart from empowering raw cashewnut growers, the cashew industry will make efforts to arrest the colossal waste of the cashew apple and make the raw cashewnut production much more remunerative for the farmers. KCMA will also evolve a sustainable mechanism to assure farmers a minimum guaranteed price for their produce.

    A press release said that the event will create more awareness about the health and nutritional benefits of cashew. The event will make efforts to attract the attention of the Union and state governments and decision makers about the immense potential of the industry.

    It said the diamond jubilee celebrations will start with a national convention on cashew and a machinery exhibition on March 14.  Experts will present technical papers on various aspects of the industry such as production, processing, promotion, marketing, automation etc. KCMA will unfold all its plans and projects during the diamond jubilee year on March 15. KCMA has over 400 cashew processors in nine districts of Karnataka.

    The release said that collectively cashew industry has given direct employment to over 50,000 people, and 95 per cent of them are women belonging to the weaker sections of society.

    In terms of volume of business, cashew industry has grown from an aggregate of ₹50 crore to over ₹2,000 crore per annum in the last three decades. In terms of export earnings to the national exchequer, the industry has registered a jump from about ₹30 crore to over ₹800 crore per annum in the three decades, it added.

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    Cashew fest from March 14

  • Thùy Miên
  • Amid hopes of making Karnataka the cashew State of India, the diamond jubilee of Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers Association will be celebrated in the city with a technical session, a cashew festival and technical exhibition, on March 14 and 15 at the T.M.A. Pai Convention Centre.

    Office-bearers of the association told presspersons here on Wednesday that Karnataka occupied a place of pride in the country, having registered a good growth with nine districts having more than 400 cashew processors. In contrast, the industry had witnessed a drastic fall in Kerala.

    clip_image001Growth

    The industry as whole, however, has grown in terms of a turnover from Rs. 50 crore three decades ago to Rs. 2,000 crore now. Export earnings have gone up from Rs. 30 crore to Rs. 800 crore. From here it needs to grow to Rs. 8,000 crore in a short span, to follow the example of Mozambique. A focus area now was addressing the colossal waste of cashew apple (about 4 lakh tonnes a year in Karnataka), which contained nutrients. Its vast potential could be harnessed in multiple ways by self help groups and growers but they lacked knowledge on the processes. The association aims to support such efforts, and the tech show would display how this could be done. They said cashew was wrongly perceived to be unhealthy in terms contribution to cholesterol but it was a myth and the forthcoming event would highlight this.

    As part of the diamond jubilee of Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers Association, a Cashew Festival will be held on March 15, in which women and hotel management school students aged above 18 may compete in making cashew-based dishes.

    Students can send an essay with the name of school and parent on health benefits of cashew nuts to kajufest@gmail.com by March 10 to win prizes from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 15,000. It will be open to public from 4 p.m.

    - The Hindu

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