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SNACKS & CONFECTIONERY

Cashew exporters’ body CEPCI to organise sixth Kaju India from Feb 13
Tuesday, 12 February, 2019, 14 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
CEPCI, the apex body of exporters of cashew and allied products from the country, under the aegis of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is organising the sixth essay of Kaju India - the Global Cashew Summit, an international buyer-seller meet-cum-exhibition, in New Delhi between February 13 and 15, 2019.

“Kaju India - The Global Cashew Summit is being organised to bring together the entire spectrum of the global cashew industry - cashew kernel buyers, sellers, processors and providers of ancillary and supporting services across the world. The event will be inaugurated by Suresh Prabhu, minister of commerce and industry,” said R K Bhoodes, chairman, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI).

“As India is the world’s largest producer, processor and consumer of cashew. A special promotion for country’s the products, under the Indian cashew brand, is proposed to be launched during Kaju India 2019. The theme of the global event is Indian Cashews – The Superfood. It has been rightly chosen, because the nut has dietary fibre, nutrients and health benefits,” he added.

The cashew industry is spread over 17 states of India that earns forex worth Rs 6,000 crore to the nation’s economy annually. The cashew industry provides gainful employment to over 10 lakh workers, the vast majority of whom are women from the socially- and economically-backward sections of the society. The economies of many villages in rural and suburban areas are dependent on the cashew industry.

“Kaju India 2019 is also the curtain-raiser for the year-long celebrations to commemorate the 100th year of Indian cashew export. It was in 1920 that India exported its first consignment and introduced cashew kernels as a commodity to the international market,” Bhoodes said.

“Today, India is the largest producer, processor and consumer of cashew in the world. Indian cashew is accepted all over the world for its high quality, taste and rich tradition. With growing competition worldwide, the Indian industry plans to focus on developing highly-processed products and exporting products with high value-addition,” he added.

“Kaju India is the largest cashew-related event worldwide, where a large number of stakeholders, including cashew farmers, traders, agents, processors, business customers will meet and interact. Brainstorming business sessions, a live machinery expo, motivational speeches, and the presentation of excellence awards will be the key features of this mega event. About 75 overseas delegates from all over the world and 800 Indian cashew traders and exporters are expected to take part in Kaju India 2019,” Bhoodes said.

This mega event is expected to be a premier gathering of world leaders of the cashew industry, including ministers and diplomats from cashew-producing and consuming countries. It is so envisaged to strengthen the industry under the Make in India scheme and promote the Indian cashew brand globally.

The commodities under the purview of the Cashew Council are cashew kernels and its allied products. The Indian cashew industry exports different grades and products like cashew kernels (wholes, broken, splits, butts, large white pieces, baby bits, etc. Apart from cashew kernels, the country also exports other by-products like cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL), cardanol (purified CNSL) and flavoured kernels.

Indian cashew kernels are well accepted and preferred world over for its quality, taste, tradition and commitment to supply, compared to other origins. India exports cashew kernels to about 80 countries. Its major importers are the United States, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Japan, Belgium, Korea, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Kuwait, Singapore, Qatar, Greece, Italy, Iran and Canada.

The growth of the Indian raw cashew nut processing industry growth is about 17 lakh metric tonne per annum, against which about nine lakh metric tonne is imported, mainly from African countries. The Indian production of raw cashew is on increase and has reached 8,17,000 metric tonne during 2017-18. Specific programmes are being implemented by the agriculture ministry, to augment the production of raw cashew nuts in India. There is need to attain self-sufficiency in the raw cashew nut production.

India’s production of raw cashew nuts in 2017-18 had increased to an all-time high of 8,17,000 tonne. The major issue faced by them is increasing competition in the global market from exporters in countries like Vietnam, Brazil and African nations.

Indian exporters exported around 84,352 tonne of cashew kernels in 2017-18, with a 2.49 per cent increase from 82,302 tonne of exports during the previous financial year. In value terms, the exports went up almost 18 per cent to $911 million, from $770.65 million registered during the previous financial year.

“The lack of modernisation and high wages are making Indian exports uncompetitive, as the cost of processing is lower in other exporting countries. The import duty, coupled with these high costs, has a negative impact on the industry,” said experts.

CEPCI stated that apart from these issues, its request to revise the minimum import price (MIP) on cashew kernels and allied products is also under process.

The surge in import of low-quality finished and semi-finished cashew kernels from competing countries using the loops in the existing policy and also using unfair methods is the most serious threat to the cashew processors. These imports of finished and semi-finished cashew kernels are to be restricted, else the industry will find it difficult to survive.

Now, in the centenary year of the journey of exports, CEPCI has specific plans to take the Indian cashew industry to the premier positions and glory of the past.

The branding of Indian cashew and the special promotion of Indian cashew at the consumer levels in the overseas market, taking India to self-sufficiency levels in raw cashew productions, process automation and mechanisation in processing, the introduction of uniform customs and practices in cashew trade, e–commerce and e-marketing in the cashew industry, research and development (R&D) in processing and development of value-added products of cashew etc., are some of the specific programmes envisaged to be implemented during the period.
 
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