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Kerala demands direct procurement of raw cashew from African countries: no to middlemen who thrive in imports

Kerala has asked the Centre to facilitate direct procurement of raw cashew nuts from African countries, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here on June 28.

The state wants to avoid middlemen in the trade. The Ministry of External Affairs will be urged to negotiate and enter into agreement with traders he said at the diplomatic conclave on cashew industry.

Pinarayi spoke on “diplomacy administration” at the two-day conclave organised by the state government and the External Affairs Ministry.

Direct procurement will benefit farmers and producers alike. The state is ready to cooperate with the MEA to identify potential suppliers.”

Faced with a requirement of 8 lakh tonnes of raw cashew nuts a year, only 0.83 lakh tonnes are being produced in the state, Pinarayi said. Kerala is a major beneficiary of the cashew imports to the country worth one billion dollars. The raw cashew is imported from African countries, processed in Kerala and exported as a value added commodity.

The LDF Government reopened closed cashew factories within 100 days of assuming power benefiting 80,000 workers. The state’s workforce in the sector is underused and increased imports of raw cashew are required to resolve this.   

Kerala Chief Secretary Nalini Netto and K Nagaraj Naidu, joint secretary, economic diplomacy division, Ministry of External Affairs, addressed the session.

 

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