The Tamil Nadu Cashew Processors and Exporters Association (TNCPEA) in a letter to Chief Minister M.K. Stalin urged him to include cashews in the Pongal gift hamper that the government has proposed to give to ration cardholders. FOLLOW US on GOOGLE NEWS Pointing out that the cashew industry was already hit by the policies of the Union Government including demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST), the TNCPEA secretary M. Ramakrishnan said the inclusion of cashews would protect the industry and ensure income and employment for lakhs of workers in the sector. The cashew processing industry has traditionally been a major industry in Cuddalore district with the presence of over 3,000 units. Over 1 lakh families were dependent on the industry, according to a report in the Hindu. Distribution of cashew nuts in Pongal gift hamper is in practice since the announcement was made in 2010 by former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, says the association. The tradition has been continuing since then. Cashews in Tamil Nadu are mainly grown in Cuddalore, Perambalur and Ariyalur districts.