With a view to providing work to those employed in the public sector cashew factories by ensuring sufficient stock of raw nut, the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) and the Kerala Cashew Workers Industrial Apex Cooperative Society (Capex) have started stocking native raw nut.
While the KSCDC owns 30 factories, Capex has ten factories under it.
The raw nuts are grown in the public sector farms of Kerala and the KSCDC and Capex are sourcing Kerala-grown cashew after several years.
Earlier, because of a tax system, most of the raw cashew harvested in Kerala went to factories outside the State. The government had relaxed the tax system at the initiative of KSCDC Chairman S. Jayamohan. The public sector factories were largely dependent on raw nut imports to provide work.
Harvesting of crops began at the cashew plantations of Plantation Corporation of Kerala Ltd. (PCKL) at Kathiyodu in Kasaragod district on Thursday morning. Mr. Jayamohan and Capex Chairman S. Sudhevan jointly inaugurated the harvest.
Over 150 cashew workers from the KSCDC and Capex factories are engaged in harvest duty, which will take a couple of weeks.
The harvest work was decided through a tender in which the group quoting the lowest rate was awarded the work. These workers will also be harvesting cashew from the other plantations of the PCKL.
Kerala-grown cashew is in demand because of its quality. Senior officers of the KSCDC and Capex are camping at Kasaragod to supervise the harvest and despatch the stock to Kollam.