The Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers’ Association (KCMA) has said that it is ready accept the challenge posed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the better utilisation of cashew apple. It has requested the Prime Minister to constitute a task force with members from industry and research bodies to find viable alternatives on utilisation of cashew apples.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Bola Rahul Kamath, President of KCMA, said that the association would like to take up the challenge posed by the Prime Minister on the proper utilisation of cashew apple on public-private partnership model during his recent visit to Tumkur.

“We are buying raw cashewnuts from farmers, and are ready to buy even cashew apples from them and put them to proper use,” he said.

Out of the 40 lakh tonnes of cashew apples produced in the country, 98 per cent is wasted. Stating that Goa allows distillation to make cashew fenny, he said the laws in other States do not allow such distillation.

The production of juice from cashew apples opens up a lot of logistical challenges, he said, and expressed doubts about the viability of projects such as production of bio-diesel from cashew apple.

Kamath suggested that a task force be appointed with representatives from industry and research institutes to identify the viable alternatives on utilisation of cashew apples. Proper utilisation of cashew apples will have many benefits, as it will increase income of farmers and make cashew cultivation more viable.

The increase in raw cashew production will help cashew industry to expand and generate more jobs in rural India, he said.

KCMA is ready to take the tasks assigned to it in this respect, he added.