Export of cashew products during 2014-2015 touched an all-time record in rupee terms by earning foreign exchange worth Rs.5,500 crore.
Addressing the 60th annual general body meeting of the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) here on Thursday, Chairman T.K. Shahal Hassan Musaliar said that during the fiscal India earned foreign exchange of $919 million. He said1.2 lakh tonnes of cashew kernels worth $ 910 million (Rs.5,33crore) and 11,000 tonnes of cashew nut shell oil worth $ 9 million (Rs.56 crore) were exported. The quantity of cashew kernels exported increased by 4 per cent and value by 7 per cent over the previous fiscal.
The USA, UAE, the Netherlands, Japan and Saudi Arabia were the major buyers, he said.
On a regional basis, exports to the American zone was 27 per cent, West Asia and Africa 33 per cent, European zone 25 per cent, and South East and Far East Asia zone 14 per cent.
Mr. Musaliar said that as per the estimate of the Directorate of Cashewnut & Cocoa Development, production of raw cashew nuts in India during 2014-15 was 7.25 lakh tonnes as against 7.36 lakh tonnes during 2013-14, reflecting a 1.5 per cent fall in production. The raw nut requirement of the cashew processing industry in India is estimated at about 15 lakh tonnes per annum and the availability from internal sources is less than half of the requirement. The balance is met by import from other raw nut producing countries.
He said that to meet the processing requirements and to reduce the dependence on import of raw cashew, there is an urgent need to increase production of raw cashew in the country. He requested the Government of India to allocate sufficient funds and put forward necessary schemes to increase the domestic production of raw cashew nuts.
Mr. Musaliar said the export incentives which were available for cashew till March 2015 were drastically slashed. The withdrawn interest subvention scheme has not been reintroduced and with high raw nut prices coupled with high processing costs, the industry is passing through difficult times. “We have been very vigorously requesting the Centre to restore export incentives to the 2014-15 levels, but yet to receive positive responses,” he said.