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  • Imported cashew nuts, a tough nut to crack for stakeholders 03/29/2023

    Mar 29th, 2023

    The cashew season looks promising for the farmers this year, but anxiety seemed writ large on the faces of stakeholders, but for a different reason – imported cashew nuts. The emerging equation that has bothered the stakeholders is simple, if factories can get imported cashew nuts at around Rs 85 per kg, who will buy the locally produced nuts at a prevailing rate of Rs 118? In fact, blame it on the availability of imported cashew nuts or otherwise, cashew nuts produced in the State may find it difficult to get industrial buyers. The reason is simple. A kilogram of cashew nuts produced in the State is being procured from the farmers at Rs 118. Consider the rate of imported cashew nuts. If the Chairman of Goa Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Board and Chairman of Adarsh Krishi Society, Quepem Prakash Velip is to be believed, imported cashew nuts are available at Rs 85 per kg in the market. Already, factories buying cashew nuts from the Quepem Adarsh Krishi Society have sent a communique to the Society that they will procure only half the stock of cashew nuts from the society this year. A worried Prakash Velip has no answer to the emerging situation with imported cashew nuts from African countries flooding the Indian market in the last few years. In his capacity as Chairman of the Goa Agricultural Produce and Marketing Board as well as Chairman of Adarsh Krishi Society, Velip has already invited the government’s attention to the emerging situation. “The imported cashew nuts have not only affected Goan farmers, but cashew industries across the country, right from Maharashtra to Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Unless the Centre takes some measures to protect the local industry, the future looks bleak for the Goan cashew industry,” he said. Velip pointed out that another problem of sorts is plaguing the Goan cashew nut industry. With Goa cashew nut much sought after across the world, Velip says unscrupulous businessmen are exploiting Goan brand to their advantage by packaging the product as Goan cashew nut,” he said. He said the government should work out a mechanism wherein Goan cashew nut brand is protected from exploitation through some quality control. “During our pre-budget meeting with the Chief Minister, we have brought these issues to the notice of Pramod Sawant. It is high time the government takes up the issue with the Union government to protect the local cashew nut industry, before the Indian market is flooded by cheap imported nuts. Such a situation would spell doom for the farmers eking a living on the occupation,” he said. Saying the season is looking good this year, Velip said Adarsh Krishi Society has procured a record quantity of cashew nut up to March 28. He, however, hastened to add that the problem lies with the industries manufacturing the finished cashew nut. Citing an instance, he said Adarsh society used to sell the cashew to Mangalore-based industry, which had two industries at Mangalore and Maharashtra. “Today, the unit has drawn up plans to use one of its factories only to process the imported cashew nuts. Given this situation, we will have to cut down on procurement of cashew nuts. The farmer will be the end loser,” he said.