Cashew nut industry face lack of raw material 04-06-2013

Though there are plenty of cashew nut trees in Udupi, especially in the hilly regions of Brahmavara and Kundapur, cashew processing industry is facing acute shortage of raw material. There are about 229 cashew nut processing factories in the district and these factories depend on cashew nuts imported from South Africa,Vietnam and other countries.

On an average 39,729 tonnes of raw cashew nut are produced every year on 19,374 hectares land in the district. However this is not sufficient to meet the raw material requirement of these factories. About 30,000 tonnes of the raw cashew are imported and the final product, after value addition, is exported to the United States and European countries.

Bola Shreenivas Kamath, a partner with Gayathri Export Company inKarkala, told STOI that due to shortage of production of raw cashew in the coastal regions, many factories have opted to depend on imported raw material. More dry land lying vacant could be converted into cashew nut plantation to meet the demand by the factories, he added.

Prasadraj Kanchan, president of Udupi chamber of commerce and industry, said that the chamber has already written to the government on this issue and suggested that through the horticulture department more dry land could be identified and separate zones for cashew nut should be reserved.

According to B P Sathish, deputy director of horticulture department, Udupi, the climate condition in Udupi best suits for cashew nut cultivation. There are suitable areas available for cashew cultivation and if farmers take up this cultivation with due care by way of providing irrigation facility and manure, the district can supply all the raw material required for factories in the district. The department this year will expand 100 hectares of cashew nut plantations in the district under its area expansion project of National Horticulture Mission, he added.



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