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Thursday, Dec 23, 2004

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Mangalore cashew body to expand horizon

Our Bureau

Mangalore , Dec. 22

THE Mangalore Cashew Manufacturers' Association (MCMA), which will celebrate its golden jubilee in 2005, is all set to convert itself into a State-level body.

From December 30, MCMA will be known as Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers' Association (KCMA).

The MCMA President, Mr K. Prakash Rao, told Business Line here that the main agenda of the association during its golden jubilee year is to increase the production of raw cashewnuts in the State.

"We should be able to meet 25 per cent of the national export target by another eight years," he said. Presence of a State-level body will help in carrying out work in this regard.

The raw cashewnut production in the State, which is hardly 30 per cent of the industry's installed capacity, is a major impediment to the growth of cashew industry in the State, he said.

Stating that nearly 160 cashew-manufacturing units exist in the State, Mr Rao said most of them are the members of the association. MCMA came into existence in 1955 with eight members.

Asked about the steps to be taken by the association to popularise cashew consumption in the domestic market, Mr Rao said that a `cashew mela' would be held during July-August 2005 in Bangalore.

A symposium on the nutritional values of cashew is also on the cards. Seminars and workshops to improve efficiency in the processing of cashewnut are also planned during the golden jubilee celebrations.

The Union Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation, Mr Oscar Fernandes, will launch the golden jubilee celebrations of the association on December 30. MCMA will be renamed as KCMA on that occasion.

The Karnataka Cooperation Minister, Mr R.V. Deshpande, will be the chief guest.

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