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Thứ Bảy, 31 tháng 12, 2016

India: Vigilance probe again on corruption at cashew corporation

31 Dec. 2016

KOLLAM: The vigilance will conduct a probe again on the allegations of corruption in the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) over  the procurement of raw cashews. The probe will be mainly on the irregularities on two dealings that took place in November. The vigilance will conduct a quick verification again on the allegations of procuring cashew of poor quality on high price and buying cashew again in the name of the tender cancelled.

Another probe by the vigilance is on in the corruption in the Cashew Development Corporation. The vigilance has registered a case against corporation former chairman and INTUC state president R Chandrasekharan and former MD Dr K A Ratheesh. Chandrashekaran is the first accused and Ratheesh, second accused. JMJ Traders MD Jaimon Joseph, who gave cashew to the corporation and S Bhuvana Chandran, assistant manager, Geo Chemical Laboratories who examined the quality of the cashew are the third and fourth accused.

The report of the quick examination has pointed a loss of 2.83 crore to the corporation in procuring cashew of low quality. The vigilance registered a case on this report. The previous UDF Government had granted Rs 30 crore during last Onam to open the closed cashew corporation factories. A preliminary probe by vigilance DySP B Radhakrishna Pillai had noticed corruption of Rs 2.83 crore in procuring 2000 metric tonne of cashew from the amount granted.


India: Quick verification ordered into graft charges in cashew corporation

31 Dec. 2016

Kollam: The Vigilance court has ordered a quick verification into the alleged irregularity worth of Rs.14.5 crore in the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation.

The court ordered the quick verification on a complaint filed by Kadakampally Manoj.

The complainant alleged that raw cashews post-expiration dates were imported paying high amounts. Not only that, cashews were brought under a tender which was cancelled by the Director Board in November.

The quick verification would look into the two business deals that were executed in December.


Is India consuming bulk of the cashew it produces?

Fri Dec 30 2016

India’s cashew exports continue to plummet at a time when the global cashew nut consumption is on a steady growth, with the country taking the lead in production and consumption.

India is the top consumer of cashew kernels in the world by absorbing over 25 per cent of the supply, industry sources told BusinessLine.
“Cashew nut demand has shot up 53 per cent since 2010, and almost half of the supply is eaten in India and the US,” they said.

India’s share in the world cashew nut market is at 23 per cent, while 58 per cent is now controlled by Vietnam.

“India led the production of cashews in 2015/16 with a crop of 1,72,719 tons (kernel basis), which represented 23 per cent of global production, followed by Ivory Coast (1,71,111 MT, 23 per cent) and Vietnam (1,13,095 MT, 15 per cent). Global production of cashews in 2015/16 reached 7,38,861 tons, an increase of 3 per cent from the previous season,” said a latest INC (International Nut and Dried Fruit Council) report.

Market leader

In a steadily growing $30-billion global tree nut market, the cashew nut segment will continue to lead, and it is expected to account for 28.91 per cent of the market by 2021, said the report.

The walnut segment is anticipated to trail next. Asia-Pacific is the clear leader in terms of geography, accounting for 92.62 per cent of the nuts market by 2021.

However, North America is expected to lead in the seeds market, accounting for 35.15 per cent by 2021. World consumption of cashew, according to available data from the INC, was at 7,16,682 tons in 2014 as against 4,69,241 tons in 2010.

Of this, Indian consumption was at around 2.4 lakh tons, while the US absorbed around 1,50,000 tons. Meanwhile, the declining trend continues in Indian cashew exports with April-November 2016 shipments dropping 28.04 per cent to 50,267 tons valued at `2,982.72 crore, from 69,856 tons valued at `3,364.31 crore in the corresponding period last year.

Exports in November 2016 fell 38.89 per cent to 6,500 tons from 10,637 tons in the same month last year.

There has been a substantial increase of 49.36 per cent in the unit value, which shot up to `632.31/kg last month from `423.36/kg in November last year, according to S Kannan, Executive Director and Secretary, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI).

Attributing the consistent fall in exports mainly to non-receipt of parity price for the kernel, Sundaran P, Chairman, CEPCI, told BusinessLine: “The processors do not enjoy a level playing ground due to (i) high cost of production, (ii) inadequate support/incentives from the State/Central governments, (iii) high cost of funds, (iv) stagnant overseas markets due to recession and (v) competition from Vietnam and other processing countries which were traditionally suppliers of RCN (Raw Cashew Nuts) to India.”

All these factors, coupled with high RCN prices and the unattainable Standard Input Output Norms (SION) fixed by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade for the cashew sector, have resulted in the continuous decline in exports and a corresponding fall in raw material imports.

Imports of RCN have shown a sharp fall during the first eight months of 2016-17.

Total imports dropped during the period by 30 per cent to 5,69,304 tons valued at `6,109.19 crore, from 8,11,007 tons valued at `6,954.02 crore.

The average unit value has increased 25.61 per cent to `107.31 a kg from `85.75 a kg in April-November 2015.


India: Coir, cashew, tex sectors on mechanisation route

December 29, 2016

Traditional industries like coir, cashew and textiles,which are handled by veteran trade unionists in the PinarayiVijayan-led LDF Government are poised on the cusp of mechanisation on a hitherto unseen scale. Finance Minister Dr Thomas Isaac, who also holds the coir portfolio, said the industry is poised for large-scale industrialisation.“New technologies will be encouraged and the  government will provide subsidy to facilitate  private players who make large-scale investments,” he had said recently.

According to Dr Isaac, the large-scale mechanisation was the need of the hour as the small-scale mechanisation  would not help the sector in the long run. The economist-turned-politico has even come up with income support schemes to compensate for the job losses in the sector that may ensue post-mechanisation.In fact, the coir industry provides employment to more than four lakh people,majority of whom are women.Similarly, the cashew industry based at Kollam employs close to three lakh people. Minister for Cashew J Mercykutty Amma, who has a trade union background, is in favour of partial automation at the cashew factory under the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) at Kottiyam in Kollam. The factory with a yearly processing capacity of 25,000 metric tonne was proposed as a way to tide over the losses incurred by the KSCDC. “The factory makes economic sense for the KSCDC. But it may require only a few workers.” said a senior official.

The minister also acknowledged the economic benefits but she said the plan would not be considered as it was against policies of CPM. “We are against total automation. Instead we are interested in building the traditional ‘Brand Kollam’ in the cashew sector. But mechanisation is needed in certain areas such as cutting and peeling since not many employees are interested.” said Mercykutty Amma.

Industries Minister A C Moideen, who will be unveiling the state’s Industrial Policy with the focus on improving the investment climate, said Kerala needed mechanisation that supported employees in production. He agreed to infuse more funds into the textile mills’ sector to revive it. Part of the funds would go into mill mechanisation at various stages of completion.

Meanwhile, M P Sukumaran Nair, chairman of public sector Restructuring and Internal Audit Board (RIAB), pointed out that the traditional industries were often found lacking in product innovation, branding and the ability to compete in the open market. Besides,their traditional employee base was fast ageing and the new generation was not interested in hard labour.


Tanzania: PM Summons Cashew Board Over Unpaid Dues

December 28, 2016

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa yesterday demanded to be told why cashew nut farmers had still not been paid for crop that had been delivered to buyers. A statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office said Mr Majaliwa would summon Cashew Nut Board of Tanzania (CBT) officials to explain why payments had been delayed, contrary to government directives. The Prime Minister was addressing Lindi regional leaders at Nachingwea State Lodge during a stopover while on his way his Ruangwa Constituency for a short break. "I want the CBT chairman to tell me what is happening...our problem is that we didn't supervise this exercise properly. We were supposed to satisfy ourselves first that all buyers had complied with our directives before they were allowed to take part in auctions."

CBT chairman Hassan Jarufu could not be immediately reached for comment, but sources in Lindi and Mtwara regions confirmed that farmers' cooperative unions were supposed to be paid immediately after auctions. "It's a blame game because cooperative union officials point an accusing finger at banks, which deny any wrongdoing...we are totally confused," said a source in Mtwara, who asked not to be named.

Addressing a public rally in Nachingwea District on October 16, Mr Majaliwa said he had directed CBT to ensure buyers made a 25 per cent advance payment to prevent auctioneers from monopolising sales. He directed LindiRegional Commissioner Godfrey Zambi and district commissioners to encourage farmers to planted new seedlings to replace old cashew trees as part of efforts to improve yields. In another development, Mr Majaliwa commended Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries minister Charles Tizeba for his decision to disband the Cashew Nut Industry Development Trust Fund (CIDTF). He directed Dr Tizeba to also crack down on other funds responsible for the development of crops such as sisal, tea and coffee and transfer their responsibilities to their respective boards.

"Dr Tizeba has taken a step in the right direction. He should cast the net wider so that the money management teams pay themselves as allowances is used instead to assist farmers in their areas," he said. The government has disbanded CIDTF for, among other irregularities, operating a Sh5 billion fixed deposit account, contrary to a presidential directive. The fund's responsibilities have been transferred to CBT. Dr Tizeba told a news conference that CIDTF was a "total failure" despite having existed for six years. The fund was established to spearhead cashew nut value addition to enable growers earn more from the crop while setting the base for local processing.


Thứ Tư, 28 tháng 12, 2016

Nigeria: Cashew farmers’ revenue increases by 20% in 2016

28 Dec. 2016

… early cropping seen in 2017

Nigeria cashew farmers recorded huge sales and made profits from sale of cashew nuts in 2016, owing to steep devaluation of the naira, stakeholders say.

The stakeholders, who spoke at the Annual Cashew Logistics meeting held in Lagos recently, said cashew farmers and exporters made more money in 2016 which has significantly increase the revenue of Nigeria’s cashew industry by 20 percent.

“In 2016 the industry made revenue of $300 million dollars and last year we did $250 million,” Tola Faseru, president, National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) told journalist during the annual meeting.

“We produce about 170,000 metric tons this year and with what we have seen so far 2017 is going to be better,” Faseru said.

This year, Vietnam, world largest cashew exporter, experienced it worst drought in a century which reduced the country’s export by 11 percent and created market for cashew nuts from other countries.

As a result, the demand for Nigeria’s cashew by foreigners increased and this pushed up the prices of local cashew nuts by 15.4 percent.

“The demand for cashew has gone up. A lot of foreigners are calling and asking for our cashew currently, and this is why the price has gone up,” said Zacheaus Egbewusi, chief executive officer, Agri Commodity Inspection Limited.

“Cashew is being sold for N450, 000 per metric ton. It was sold between N370, 000 and N390, 000 per metric ton a month ago,” Egbewusi added.

Also speaking with journalist at the event, Anga Sontoye, publicity secretary, NCAN, said “2016 was a wonderful year for cashew farmers and exporters. Our farmers will make more money in 2017 because output will increase by 10 percent and we prices are going to increase owing to lower value of naira against the dollar.”

“Having done our cashew survey for key producing 24 states, we realise that some cashew trees have started producing nuts and this implies that we are going to see an early crop from January and by February serious export will commence,” Sontoye said.

He stated that the price of a metric ton of cashew in the international market sells between $1,000 and $1,200. He also noted that Nigeria cashew industry will experience its greatest price regime in 2017 as the value of naira continues to drop against the dollars.

Nigeria’s cashew is usually harvested between February-June, though farmers stock the crop and export it all year round.

The stakeholders complained about foreign traders who are moving into farmlands to purchase produce directly from farmers and call on the government to address the issue.

 “It is not done anywhere in the world, that foreigners will come into the country and source their produce directly from farms. Government at all level needs to regulate their activities,” said Faseru.

The stakeholders also requested for the grant of waivers for the importation of jute bags which is used in packaging cashew for exports. 

Josephine Okojie

Tanzania: Cashew Farmers Pocket 2.6 Billion/-

December 26, 2016

Cashew nut farmers from five villages in Lindi Region have pocketed 2.6bn/- from Mnolela Primary Society in the region after selling their produce in three auctions this year. An official of the society, Hassan Kongwa told reporters here yesterday that the farmers earned the money after selling 488 tonnes of raw cashew in the first auction, 120 tonnes in the second auction and 232 tonnes in the third auction.

He said there were still some more outstanding payments to the farmers which the primary society was still processing. He said the payments made and the unpaid balance come up after sales of cashew nut through warehouse receipt system in the cashew buying season of this year.

Cashew nut farmers in the country are currently rejoicing after a 30 per cent increase in prices of their crop. In Mtwara for instance, the price ranges between 3,837/- and 3,585/- per kilogramme from between 2,890/- and 1,800/- per kilogramme in the previous season. Farmers say the price increase is a result of a change in the way cashew nuts are marketed, for the crop is now sold in an auction, which allows buyers to compete, sending prices up in the process.

Tanzania is Africa's largest cashew grower after Nigeria and Ivory Coast, and the eighth biggest producer in the world. Cashews are the important export crop for Tanzania providing about ten to fifteen per cent of the country's foreign exchange.

The crop is an important source of income for small farmers.

The majority of plantations are found along the southern coast in towns like Mtwara, Lindi, Ruvuma and Pwani. While most of the cashew trees were planted in the 1950's and 60's, more and more farmers are continuing to plant cashews. Cashews are amongst the one of the most consumed nuts in the world which are eaten as a snack or in cooking.


Thứ Ba, 27 tháng 12, 2016

INC to Grant €350,000 in 2017 to Nuts and Dried Fruits Research and Dissemination

21 Dec. 2016

INC has launched its 2017 Annual Research Grant and Annual Grant for Promotion and Dissemination Projects to better understand the health benefits of nuts and dried fruits and spread the message around the globe.

December 21st, 2016.- INC funds these projects through two different requests for proposals for a total of €300,000 allocated to research recipients and €50,000 to dissemination. Since INC began offering these grants, it has awarded more than one million euros to the dissemination of and research on the health effects of nuts and dried fruits.
2016 Grant Awardees
This year the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) selected six projects to receive 187,000 euros, reinforcing its commitment to research that helps improve our understanding of the benefits of eating nuts and dried fruits, as well as dissemination projects.
INC awarded grants to three research projects on the relationship of dried fruit to glycemic response, the effects of nut consumption and endothelial function, and the relationship between nuts and fat cells.
Grant recipients:
Project: Dried fruit as a means for lowering the glycemic response to high glycemic index-carbohydrate foods (clinical study). Lead researcher: Dr. Cyril Kendall, Glycemia Consulting Inc., Canada.
Project: Exploration of the effects of nut consumption on markers of inflammation and endothelial function (systematic review and meta-analysis). LR: Prof. Linda Tapsell, University of Wollongong, Australia.
Project: Effects of nut-derived miRNAs on inflammatory and metabolic profile of fat cells (animal and cell study). LR: Dr. Daniele Lettieri-Barbato, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy.

INC also issued a total of 50,000 euros in grant money to three promotion and dissemination projects. The goal is to build consumer demand for nuts and dried fruits and provide information about their properties and qualities. Additionally, INC prioritizes projects aimed at disseminating the outcomes of the scientific findings that come from INC-funded research on health and nutrition.
These projects were the beneficiaries of the INC’s grants:
Grant recipients:

Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM), Czech Republic. Project: Nuts, Obesity and Diabetes Symposium, 34th International Symposium on Diabetes and Nutrition.
Nucis Italia. Project: “Nuts & Fit, Frutta Secca & Sport, il mix ideale per tenersi in forma”.
Nucis Germany. Project: “Update Ernährungsmedizin” (Nutritional Medicine Congress Update)

Moreover, INC is allocating nearly 200,000 euros to a Global Dissemination Program to encourage the use of nuts and dried fruits as a top of mind product.

About the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council

The International Nut & Dried Fruit Council (INC) brings together nearly 700 nut and dried fruit companies from over 70 countries. INC is the international organization of reference regarding health, nutrition, statistics, food safety, and international standards and regulations relating to nuts and dried fruit.

Source: INC

Thứ Hai, 26 tháng 12, 2016

India: Hopes soar for good cashew yield

December 24, 2016

Farmers and the state agriculture department are hoping for a good cashew yield this season, as the climate, so far, has been conducive for the crop. The cashew season in the state will commence shortly and farmers have already started clearing bushes.

Director of the agriculture department Ulhas Pai Kakode said, “The climate has been normal till now and we are expecting a good cashew yield this season. The flowering has begun and as of now, the climatic conditions have been favourable. So we are hoping to have a good cashew yield this season.” He further said that there has been no effect of demonetisation on the cashew farmers in the state.

According to information available from the agriculture department, the production of cashew in Goa in 2012-13 was 23,804 tonnes, while the estimated area under cashew cultivation was 55,747 hectares. In the year 2013-14, the production of cashew increased to 24,332 tonnes and the estimated area under cultivation also increased to 55,936 hectares. In 2014-15, the production of the crop further increased to 25,011 tonnes and the estimated area under cultivation was 56,079 hectares.

A farmer from Pernem Bhimshankar Naik said that he has already begun the work of clearing the bushes in his cashew plantation. “Due to the normal climate, we are expecting a good cashew yield this season,” he said. The cashew season in the state normally commences in February and goes up to May.

Kashinath Gaonkar, another farmer from Pernem, said that the exercise of demonetisation of high-value currency notes undertaken by the central government has not affected him. “I am not facing any difficulty due to demonetisation, as the situation has almost normalised in Goa,” he said.

Gaonkar further said that he, along with some other farmers, has planned to make ‘aagist’ or a fire cover for cashew plantations wherein a grass patch of around one or two metres is selected about three metres from the boundary of cashew plantations on a hill and it is set on fire. The fire is later extinguished. Gaonkar said that this practice creates a protective belt around the plantations and helps in reducing the risk of fire incidents.

According to sources, there is a good scope for improvement of cashew crop in the state by accommodating cashew saplings in between the larger cashew plantations thus attempting to achieve optimum density of plants per hectare.


India: Steps on to reopen cashew factories


Cashew industrial relations panel meets

A meeting of the cashew industrial relations committee convened by Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma here on Friday has decided to make all major cashew factories in the State functional.
The meeting pointed out that the factories of many companies in the State remained shut while those outside the State were functional.
It was decided to open all factories, including those of Vijayalekshmi Cashew company.
The Minister said that alternative arrangements had been made to ensure that the payment of wages to workers were not affected by the financial restrictions following demonetisation. — Special Correspondent

Thứ Năm, 22 tháng 12, 2016

India: Winter Sale Begins in Cashew Kernel

December 21st, 2016

Exporters buying rate for premium W240 is Rs 9000/+ VAT/11.340 kilo/Goa-Mangalore. North Indian buyers are purchasing W320 around  Rs 8900/inclusive of Tax/Tin of 25 LBs/Karnataka-Goa. South Indian demand for Jumbo Half is nearly Rs 9000/ inclusive of Vat/Same quantity.

Retailers expect further pick-up in demand when the cash withdrawal restrictions end.

India: Cashew growers gear up for hard times ahead

 | Updated: Dec 22, 2016, 01.48 PM IST

VISAKHAPATNAM: Last year, a bag of cashew with kernel weighing close to 100 kilos was sold for Rs 8,000 and more. However, this year, that may not be the case as about 200 processing units in Palasa are yet to begin production due to lack of demand even in this festive season.

According to traders in Tagarapuvalasa and Visakhapatnam, most of the old stock is still lying unsold. "Close to 40% of the cashew sale is during the festive and wedding season between October and January. However, today, due to demonetisation, processed cashew which fetches on an average Rs 550 per kilo is hardly finding any buyers. In such a scenario, the cash dependent cashew trade will be strapped for the next season and farmers will be the worst hit," observed KS Chetty, a cashew trader based in Tagarapuvalasa.

Chetty said the cashew trade in Kerala has also been badly mauled and due to this reason, farmers might find it difficult to sell at last year's rates. "The bags should go for roughly Rs 5,000 and any increase in the rate would be marginal," he said.

Traders said those who sell cashew are small farmers with cooperative bank accounts. They pointed out that these farmers usually prefer cash transactions. Sources in the farming sector from Visakhapatnam said unless the farming community is trained to carry out transactions online, they would sell their produce for far too little as the traders would call the shots.

Farmers in Makkavaripalem have asked the government to promote Paytm to help them in the summer. B Ayyappa, a farmer, said, "Unless I convince the trader-commission agent duo that I am happy with online payments, I cannot make him confirm the rate I wish for. However, even this might be difficult as the traders would have to get all their cash back into rotation by then and this may not be entirely possible by the month of May."

CV Raju, a big farmer from Rambilli, noted, "Much would depend on how much money is in circulation by May."


Tanzania: Govt now disbands cashew fund over Sh5 billion account

22 Dec. 2016

By Deogratius Kamagi and Aika Kimaro @TheCitizenTZ

In Summary

  • The fund’s responsibilities were immediately shifted to the Cashewnut Board of Tanzania (CBT) while the suspended managers will remain jobless for unspecified time as the government ponders their fate.
  • Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries minister Charles Tizeba announced the decision yesterday during a press conference in which he labelled the CIDTF a “failure” since its establishment in 2010.
Read more:

Tanzania: Cashew Development Fund Axed

Cashew ready for exports.
Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Minister Charles Tizeba has suspended the Cashewnut Industry Trust Development Fund (CIDTF) effective yesterday over allegations of mismanagement and sabotage of the cash crop's development.
Dr Tizeba told reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the suspension was an outcome of extensive consultations amid growing concerns on the fund's performance.
"The fund's inefficiency has subjected the government and the entire cashewnut sector to substantial losses ... it has also been defying government's directives and regulations on various issues.

Mozambique wants to learn from Vietnam’s cashew development experience

22 Dec. 2016

Mozambique wants to learn from Vietnam experience in developing the cashew industry, Director of the Mozambique National Cashew Institute (INCAJU) IlidioAfonso Jose Bande said at a recent workshop.

mozambique wants to learn from vietnam’s cashew development experience hinh 0
The workshop on bilateral cooperation in the cashew industry was held on December 19-20 by the Vietnamese Embassy in Mozambique, INCAJU, and Mozambique’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and Cashew Industry Association (AICAJU).

It also drew representatives from AICAJU member businesses, cashew growing provinces such as Gaza, Nampula, Zambezia and Cabo Delgado, along with Vietnamese entrepreneurs.

The INCAJU Director said cashew plays an important role in Mozambique’s agricultural development and food security strategy. He expressed admiration at the considerable development of Vietnam’s cashew industry.

Mozambique wants Vietnam to transfer technology and help train personnel in the field, he said, calling on Vietnamese businesses to grow and invest in cashew processing lines to help his country boost exports.

Briefing participants about Vietnam’s cashew industry, Vietnamese Ambassador to Mozambique Nguyen Van Trung emphasised that after only more than 15 years, Vietnam has become the No. 1 cashew nut exporter in the world with lots of experience and advanced techniques in planting, harvesting and processing cashew.

More and more Vietnamese enterprises are interested in the cashew industry in Mozambique and seek partnership and investment opportunities there, he noted.

He asked Vietnamese firms to point out obstacles to their business in the African nation and asked local authorised agencies to tackle those problems and facilitate their operations, thereby contributing to the local cashew industry’s expansion.

During the time of the Portuguese colonialism, Mozambique was the biggest cashew grower and exporter in Africa with an output of over 200,000 tonnes per year between 1973 and 1975.

Its Government has approved a master plan for the cashew industry development until 2020, aiming to turn cashew into one of the key exports in the near future.

However, the country is facing certain difficulties as a lack of modern planting and processing technologies and cashew products’ low quality. Its annual cashew output now is just about 100,000 tonnes with productivity of under 1 tonnes per hectare. Less than 50 percent of the output is shipped abroad.

During the workshop, Vietnamese and Mozambique cashew companies discussed the local legal framework for raw cashew shipment, cooperation in cashew planting, and investment in processing.

Participants also visited some cashew factories and had a working session with Mozambique’s Ministry of Industry and Trade to solve issues facing Vietnamese firms in exporting raw cashew to Vietnam.