It will ensure a better price for cashew farmers, says Agriculture Minister

The public sector Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) Ltd. has started procuring raw cashew directly from cashew farmers in the State.

Corporation chairman R. Chandrashekaran and managing director K.A. Ratheesh said the procurement programme was formally inaugurated by Agriculture Minister K.P. Mohanan at a function at Koothuparamba in Kannur district on Saturday.

Several years ago, the government had introduced a monopoly system for procurement of raw cashew from the farmers. However, the system was later withdrawn, following which the farmers became dependent on middlemen to sell the cashew harvest even to the KSCDC and the cooperative sector Kerala State Cashew Workers Apex Industrial Cooperative Society Ltd. (Capex).

Dr. Ratheesh said that under the new system, the KSCDC would procure raw cashew from the districts of Kannur, Kasaragod, Malappuram, and Kozhikode through 11 procurement centres.

First purchase

At the inaugural function, the first procurement purchase was inaugurated by Deputy Leader of the Opposition Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

Mr. Mohanan described the system as one that would ensure a better price for the cashew farmers.

The market intervention by the KSCDC would put an end to the exploitation of the farmers by the middlemen.

The KSCDC requires nearly 5,000 tonnes of raw cashew a month but only a small quantity is grown in Kerala.

A good quantity of what is produced in the State finds it way to factories at Mangalore in Karnataka through middlemen.

The KSCDC initiative was likely to out an end to this trend, Dr. Ratheesh said.

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