India: Prospects of setting up cashew plantation in Courtallam being probed
KOLLAM:NOVEMBER 23, 2016 19:23 IST
KSCDC chairman visit Kerala govt. property
As part of a State government project to set up cashew plantations in government land lying idle, Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) chairman S. Jayamohan inspected State-owned properties at Courtallam in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu on Sunday.
The State government owns two properties in Courtallam — a 56.6-acre palace and guest house complex, and a 14.5-acre spread. Both have been largely lying idle.
Part of Travancore
Courtallam was part of erstwhile Travancore and a depot for timber logged from the Achencoil forests functioned in the 14.5-acre property during the reign of the Travancore kings.
Following Independence, the property came under the Forest Department of erstwhile Travancore. After the reorganisation of States in 1957, when Courtallam went to Tamil Nadu, the depot became a property of the Kerala government. After opening a timber depot in Achencoil itself, a project to construct a depot for inter-State KSRTC buses was planned in the property, but was later dropped.
Mr. Jayamohan said the property appeared to be ideal for a cashew plantation and could accommodate about 1,000 trees. He said that under the cashew plantation project of the State government, he had been asked to identify and submit a report on government properties that were ideal for cashew plantations.
The final decision would be taken by the government.
The palace complex property is under the management of the Kerala Public Works Department and the PWD division office at Punalur is in charge.
Mr. Jayamohan said that cashew could be planted in this property without disturbing the charm of the palace. The government planned to promote cashew plantations since the cashew processing industry of the State, which employed lakhs of women, was now fully dependent on import of raw nuts.
Raw nut shortage
The international markets being highly competitive, the cashew industry here often face shortage of raw nuts. Also, raw nut prices continue to soar. Scarcity of the commodity often leads to cashew factories remaining closed, affecting the livelihood of the workers.