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Kollam: In a major setback to the public sector cashew industry’s attempt to promote indigenous cashew, the state-run plantations are resorting to source raw cashew kernels out to the open market through a tender process. This is likely to affect the availability of raw cashew kernel supply to factories owned by the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) and the Capex. The move by the plantations is also a violation of the Government Order issued a year back directing these plantations to supply cashew to the government-run factories which aim at reducing the quantity of cashew import.

The chairmen of both the KSCDC and Capex have demanded that the directors of these public sector plantations abstain from their move to float tenders to sell the cashew that is produced. 

“In 2016, the government could make Rs 5 cr more than that of the previous years as cashew was procured from these public sector plantations. The farmers were also given `130 for a kilogram of raw cashew. The corporation could also introduce Kerala brand jumbo cashew in the market using these cashews during Onam,” S. Jayamohan, KSCDC chairman told DC.

The farmers in Kasargode and Kannur districts could avail good returns because of the move. They also got rid of the private players who refused to give them a reasonable price. The directors of these plantations were given requests to continue with the supply, but are going on with the tender process, he alleged. He has also submitted a petition before Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan demanding immediate intervention by the Government to ensure supply of cashew from these plantations.

The move to tender raw cashew is a violation of an order dated January 30, 2017 which states the cashew produced in the public sector plantations should be supplied to the cashew factories run by the KSCDC and Capex.

The Corporation had procured cashew from the Kerala state plantation corporation, state farming corporation, rehabilitation plantation, Aralam farm, farms by various district panchayats, and the farms by forest and agriculture departments last year.

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