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Imports from Africa might hit cashew prices

Date: 27-02-2020
Subject: Imports from Africa might hit cashew prices
Visakhapatnam: Farmers stand to lose in a big way with cashew procurement rates likely to plummet as low as Rs 6,000 per a bag of 88-kg this season. 

Procurers said cashew imported from Africa are already in the market and would decrease demand for local cashew. 

Traders and cashew processing unit owners have made it clear that the orchard growers in north coastal AP would suffer the most as cashew is chiefly grown in Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts. 

Ch Raju, a farmer from Narsipatnam division, said: “Two years ago, cashew dominated Mango as the prime income provider in mixed orchards, the 88-kilo bag price (procurement rate from farmers) touched an all-time high of Rs 12,000, taking base procurement price of cashew with kernel to Rs 140.” 

Sources in Palasa cashew market said there could be a major depression in local procurement prices, forcing the farmers to make desperate sales. Unfortunately, for most farmers, cashew has become the mainstay along with mango in mixed orchards and for them to make the switch to another crop could take at least five years. 

The traders suggested that the government must impose heavy import duties on cashew from Africa, if the local farmers were to be protected. 

Malla Sinivas, President of the Cashew Manufacturers Association, said: ”This is a death trap for local farmers. All these years, they have been used to very high procurement prices, making cashew one of the most viable orchard-cash crops for farmers. There was a time when agents would go from farm to farm procuring cashew (with kernel) during the season, while the farmers spent nothing on transportation costs, this scenario is going to change soon.” 

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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