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  • Cashew industry pins revival hopes on upcoming govt in Kerala

    Mar 29th, 2024

    The cashew industry in Kerala is in distress. Now, with Lok Sabha elections close, stakeholders are hoping against hope for a turnaround in fortunes once the results are out and the government – it doesn’t matter which party’s – takes charge at the Centre. According to cashew producers, halting illegal influx of cashews from Vietnam and African nations and introducing subsidies for mechanising the industry – a muchneeded change – should be the focus of the coming government.

    Since 2019, the price of a tin of Indian cashew kernels, weighing 11.34kg, has remained stagnant between Rs 5,700 and Rs 5,900 primarily due to the surge in illegal imports from Vietnam and African nations. The unauthorized imports have distorted market prices. Imported cashew kernels such as the ‘w320’ variety cost from Rs 4,500 to Rs 4,900 per tin, significantly undercutting the market of indigenous Indian variety.  “The cashew industry stands as an exception where prices have failed to rise post-pandemic. The main reason for this is rampant illegal import of cashew kernels from Vietnam and other nations. The vast disparity in costs between Vietnam and India – the latter is costlier by Rs 1,000 – leaves us at a disadvantage. The collapse of the industry, once the pride of Kerala, necessitates that whoever comes to power in June takes decisive action for complete revival of the sector,” said Mohammed Anas, vice-president of the Federation of Cashew Processors and Exporters Association.