All factories under the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) will reopen on May 27 and the corporation will induct 500 more workers shortly. Many processing units in the cashew sector have remained shut for the past few months and the KSCDC factories are opening after a four-month break. “The delay in getting raw cashew nut (RCN) from foreign countries was the reason for the closing. The dip in RCN availability in domestic and international markets due to climate change had triggered the crisis,” said S. Jayamohan, chairman, KSCDC. Though the government had taken measures to procure the required volume of raw material, the disruption of cargo movement through the port of Colombo due to the internal crisis in Sri Lanka turned out to be an issue. “Consignments that were scheduled to arrive in the months of February and March is now reaching Thoothukudi and Kochi ports. Around 6,000 tonnes of RCN required to provide continuous working days till Onam are now arriving through these ports. The fund required for buying the raw material was made alleviate by Industries Minister P. Rajeev and Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal,” he added. At present Cashew Board has also taken steps to procure RCN required to keep the factories functional after Onam. While all the factories have published work calendars with details of the working days, 500 more labourers will be soon appointed after completing the procedures. Following the crisis, Industries department had launched an intensive procurement drive in April and announced fair price for raw cashew nut sourced directly from farmers. The aim was to eliminate the exploitation of middlemen and to ensure the produce will directly reach the factories of KSCDC and Capex. While cooperative societies were in charge of procurement, all 40 factories of KSCDC and Capex functioning in Kannur, Thrissur, Alappuzha, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kollam districts can source RCN directly from the farmers.