KOLLAM: The cashew industry has placed its hopes in the newly constituted Cashew Board to end the speculative trade in domestic market. The government has announced that various nationalised and state cooperative banks were willingness to sanction Rs 200 crore as operational capital for the board. The requirements of the cashew board were in-principle approved by these banks to provide a working capital. The state government will stand guarantee for the loan sanctioned by the banks. Nearly 10 lakh metric tonne of raw cashew is required for the functioning of cashew factories in the state.
It has been observed that the middlemen in cashew trade who buy raw cashew from foreign countries and sell in domestic market are mostly responsible for crisis in the industry. The cashew board expects to support the industry by ensuring supply of raw cashew in domestic market at reasonable rates. “Around 20%-40% of the market price of raw cashew is hiked by intervention of speculative traders. This can be avoided. According to the intention of the board, agreement to buy cashew is signed by the government directly,” Kadakampally Manoj, anti-corruption activist, told DC.
The quality of these cashew will be certified by the government of the country from which the raw cashew is supplied. “The big shots in the industry are currently supplying cashew in domestic market. They are now into mere speculative trade keeping their processing units closed,” Mr Manoj added. The board plans to buy raw cashew directly from foreign markets and provide them to private cashew factories at nominal rates avoiding middlemen. The board also plans special packages for 60 non-functional factories by declaring moratorium for their existing loans to revive the industry.