`There is no cause for concern as CEPCI had taken steps to encourage consumption in various States'
MANGALORE: Cashew exports in 2005-06 have declined by about seven per cent as compared to the previous year, according to the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI).
According to CEPCI Chairman, Walter D'Souza, exports in 2005-06 were 1.14 lakh tonnes valued at Rs. 2,515 crore against 1.27 lakh tonnes (Rs. 2,709 crore) in 2004-05. Mr. D'Souza said that during 2004-05, cashew exports were at an all time high with a quantum jump of 50 per cent over the preceding year.
The marginal decline in exports was attributed to the drop in prices during the last quarter of the current fiscal by about 15 per cent and the consequent request from overseas buyers to postpone part of the shipments originally scheduled for March to April-June 2006. Part of the exports meant for March was carried over to April due to the unexpected strike at the Cochin port during March. But for these two unexpected developments, last year's figures could have been achieved. It is expected that a correction will take place during 2006-07 and cashew exports will register a net growth.
Mr. D'Souza said there was no cause for concern as the CEPCI had taken steps to encourage consumption in various states. As a first step, two cashew festivals, organised by the Goa Cashew Manufacturers Association and the Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers Association, have been given proper direction and need-based assistance. The event in Goa, named Cashew Mahotsav, was held on March 10 and 11 to attract foreign tourists and was conducted along with the international tourism festival of Goa in association with the Goa Government.
A major promotional event, the biggest ever in India, named Kaju Fest, will be held from April 21 to 24 in Bangalore.
It will be organised by the Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers Association with CEPCI support.
Another major event coming up under the CEPCI will be the global buyer-seller meet which will be held at the Kovalam Leela beach resort in Thiruvananthapuram from September 15 to 17. Cashew importers from over 30 countries will deliberate on the marketing strategies.
Mr. D'Souza said a road map for global cashew promotion was expected to emerge out of this meet.
It is expected to generate additional exports of about Rs. 300 crore. It is expected that cashew exports will aggregate Rs. 3,000 crore during the current fiscal.
Mr. D'Souza deplored the exclusion of cashew from the purview of the Vishesh Krishi Upaj Yojana (VKUY) and Vishesh Krishi Upaj and Gram Udyog Yojana of the Commerce Ministry targeted at rural employment generation.