To prepare a report within 30 days in consultation with industrialists, TU leaders, workers and experts A committee has been formed to prepare a master plan to make the operations of Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) and Kerala State Cashew Workers Apex Industrial Cooperative Society (Capex) factories more efficient. The committee will study and submit a report on various aspects that include provision to offer 200 working days a year, availability of raw cashew nut, mechanisation and automation in cashew processing and expansion of cashew cultivation to maximise domestic production. It will also look into the benefits offered to the sector, measures to support private processors and branding strategies in the domestic market. KSCDC chairman S.Jayamohan chaired the first meeting of the committee, which is expected to prepare a report within 30 days in consultation with industrialists, trade union leaders, workers and industry experts. Along with increasing domestic production of raw cashew nut and addressing the crisis in the sector, the committee will also explore the possibilities to ensure employment and related benefits to the labourers. Marketing drum-roasted cashew, a product processed in the traditional method, will be an area of focus. The committee members include KSCDC and Capex officials, trade union representatives and processors. The Industries department has started an intensive procurement drive from April first week and the government has announced fair price for raw cashew nut sourced directly from farmers in the State. Through the drive, the department aims to ensure fair prices to farmers without the exploitation of middlemen. The quality raw cashew nut procured will be made available at the factories run by the KSCDC and Capex. The main procurement will be through cooperative societies while all 40 factories of the KSCDC and Capex will source nut directly from the farmers. Government-run factories in Kannur, Thrissur, Alappuzha, Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts will directly procure raw nut weighing below 100 kg. The nut procured by cooperative societies will be transported to the factories after required quality checks.