04 May 2017
The Kerala cabinet has accorded in-principle nod for formation of a special purpose vehicle to take up import of raw cashew and its distribution to processing companies in the public/ private sectors.
If necessary, the new company would be allowed to intervene in the trading/marketing of processed cashew nuts, an official spokesman said here.
In doing so, the cabinet extended its approval to recommendations made by a high-level committee that featured representatives from the Reserve Bank, commercial banks and the state government.
The committee had advised that the state government float the new company and make banks, the Cashew Promotion Council, the State Trading Corporation along with itself the main shareholders.
The company will seek to become a major player in the market by directly contracting import of raw cashew from the main producing countries.
CRISIS IN SECTOR
The decision has been taken in the light of a crisis in the cashew sector due to sustained lack of raw cashew. The sector provides the only livelihood option to three lakh women and their families.
Cashew processors in the state need supplies of at least six lakh tonnes to fully engage their factories. Domestic production of raw cashew amounts to no more than 80,000 tonnes.
Currently, the Kerala state Cashew Development Corporation and the Cashew Workers' Apex Society float tenders and engage middlemen to import raw cashew.