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  • Goa struggling to give taste of real cashew nuts with GI tag to tourists 05/31/2024

    May 31st, 2024

    In the next three months tourists visiting Goa will get the taste of real Goan cashew nuts with a Geographical Indication (GI) label on its packet, rather than taking back home poor quality stuff, officials said.

    Usually tourists purchase the cashew nuts labelled as ‘Goa Cashew’ which in fact come from Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala and Maharashtra. Hence, the purchaser doesn’t get the taste of Goan cashew. It is mostly imported from Benin, Ivory Coast and Indonesia.

    Though the Food and Drugs Administration had raided shops in the coastal areas which sell cashew nuts imported from other states under the ‘Goan Cashew’ brand, the officials could not stop this practise due to the absence of strong legislation.

    “Officials conduct raids but they are helpless as there is no strong legislation. The traders pay a fine but soon they start selling the same cashew nut under some other name,” a cashew processor said.

    Speaking to IANS, Goa Cashew Manufacturers Association (GCMA) president Rohit Zantye said that the trend of selling imported cashew nuts under the name of ‘Goan Cashew’ can be stopped if the government takes strong action.

    “We are optimistic that things will change after we start selling GI labelled cashew nut packets, which will give a real taste of Goa to tourists. We have no issue that shops in the coastal areas sell cashew nuts, but they should not sell imported nuts or poor quality nuts labelled as ‘Goan Cashew’,” Zantye said.

    “We are framing the rules so the GI tag is not misused. We will have to seek a license number from the GI registry in Chennai. This will take around two to three months and later we can sell it under GI tag,” he said.

    According to him ICAR, Goa Agriculture Department, FDA, Cashew Growers Association are part of the committee framing rules for GI tag labelling.

    “There are 18 processing units registered under us, out of which only 4 to 5 have shown interest in getting a GI label. Those who process imported cashew nuts have not shown any interest as they sell their product in Gujarat or in other states,” Zantye said.

    “GI labelling will benefit us only when action is taken against those who sell products illegally under the Goa brand. Then they will be forced to take ‘Goan cashew nuts’ from GI labelled units,’ he pointed out.

    Sources informed that local raw cashew production is around 26,000 tonnes. However the societies who purchase it from ‘the growers’ sell it to units from other states. Thus Goan units are forced to import raw cashew from Africa.

    Once processed, the units pack these nuts in 25 types of grades, ranging from Rs 700 to Rs 1400 per kg.

    Deepak K Parab, nodal officer of Patent Information Centre, Goa State Council for Science and Technology, said that they have already designed the GI logo and are waiting for finalisation of the rules.