Agri Business

Karnataka urged to allow corporates to take up cashew cultivation on leased land

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on October 17, 2019 Published on October 17, 2019

The Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has asked the Karnataka government to allow corporates to take up cashew cultivation on leased land.

Addressing presspersons in Mangaluru on Thursday, Isaac Vas, president of KCCI, said that the state grows about 60,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts per annum. The processing capacity of the cashew industry in the state is around 2.5 lakh tonnes per annum.

The cashew processing industry is importing around 2 lakh tonnes of raw cashew nut a year from the east and west Africa to fill this gap.

The cashew industry cannot acquire agricultural land in Karnataka under the law of the state, Vas said.

To reduce the dependence on African nations for raw cashew nuts, he said, the Government should declare cashew as a plantation crop. Such a move could help the corporates to take up scientific cultivation of cashew on leased land with the methods developed by the research centres. Self-sufficiency of raw material can be ensured through this way, he said.

APMC Fee

Urging the Government to exempt raw cashew nut from the Karnataka Agricultural Produce Marketing Regulation Act, he said APMCs (Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees) impose 1.5 per cent market fees on raw cashew nuts. The similar fee is not imposed in other states such as Tamil Nadu and Kerala, he said.

The APMC’s demand of market fee on imports has resulted in big disputes.

He said there is an immediate need to delete raw cashew nuts from APMC to pave the way for Karnataka to become the cashew hub of the country.

Referring to the issues being faced by the cashew industry from the Customs Department, he said the prices in cashew market are volatile in nature.

He said the Customs Department wrongly assumes that the values are under-declared and regularly subjects the consignments to reassessment. Such a move is stifling the cashew manufacturing units that are already reeling under liquidity crisis.

Vas said there is a need to sensitise the Customs Department on the volatility in the cashew market and ensure that the it does not look at the cashew industry as violators.

Published on October 17, 2019
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