Under a proposal submitted by the Kerala Minister for Fisheries, Harbour Engineering and Cashew Industry, J. Mercykutty Amma, Andhra Pradesh will give 50,000 hectares to the KSACC for cashew cultivation with an initial investment of USD $104m over five years (2017-22).
The farming will be done by farmers’ societies of A.P. under the supervision of the KSACC and the production is to be procured by Kerala. The plan has a high potential for job creation as the project facilitates imports of high-yielding grafts.
In an exclusive interview with The Hindu on the sidelines of the National Women’s Parliament here on Saturday, Ms. Mercykutty said the cashew industry in Kerala, on which more than a million people are dependent for their livelihood, is facing a major crisis of Raw Cashew Nut (RCN) shortage due to low domestic production. Six lakh metric tonnes (MT) of RCN was needed in Kerala in a year but the production hovered around just 80,000 MT.