Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala government has convened a meeting of diplomats from 14 African nations as part of its effort to revive the sinking cashew sector in the state that provides jobs to more than two lakh people, majority of them women.
The meeting to be held on 28 and 29 June in Thiruvananthapuram is to find ways to import raw cashew from African countries without middlemen at reasonable rates, Minister for Fisheries and Cashew Mercykutty Amma said on Sunday.
Representative of Union external affairs ministry would also participate in the meeting, that among other things envisage to increase the cashew export of the country from the present Rs 6,000 crore to Rs 9,000 crore, it was stated.
Effort was also to make the Kerala Cashew Development Corporation and Kerala State Cashew Workers Apex Industrial Co-operative, the two agencies of the state engaged in cashew processing sector, profitable ventures.
Cashew industries would sustain only if quality raw cashew was made available without any disruption and the government was making efforts in this regard, she said.
It was also necessary to have partial modernisation, environment friendly processing and manufacture of value added products for the growth of this sector, she said.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan would inaugurate the meeting.
Kerala accounts for 11 percent of cashew production and 35 percent of cashew nut processing units in the country, as per the Economic Review for the year 2016.
One of the main challenges the sector faces is the mismatch between demand and supply on its requirement of around six lakh million tonne of raw cashew in a year for catering to the demands of 800 factories.
The state exported 68,150 tonnes of cashew and cashew kernels in 2014-15.
Updated Date: Jun 25, 2017 13:46:01 IST