The public sector Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) will observe the World Environment Day on Monday by launching an ambitious long-term scheme to promote cashew farms across the State. KSCDC chairman S. Jayamohan told mediapersons that on Monday the company would plant seven-lakh high yield variety of cashew saplings.
The programme also coincides the 47th anniversary of the constitution of the KSCDC. It was on June 5, 1970, that the State government launched the KSCDC, he said. The main aim of the cashew plantation programme was to protect the cashew processing industry which at present provided employment to three-lakh persons, the majority of them women.
Mr. Jayamohan said that in association with the Cashew Farm Development Agency, the KSCDC intended to bring 10,000 acres in the State under cashew farms. As part of the same scheme, on Monday the “muttathoru cashumavu” (a cashew tree in your courtyard) project was also being launched under which 10,000 cashew workers of the KSCDC would be given a cashew sapling each.
On Monday evening, Ministers J. Mercykutty Amma and K. Raju would jointly plant cashew saplings to bring 200 acres of land owned by Rehabilitation Plantations Limited under cashew farm. “A cashew park in my school” programme will be launched by Ms. Mercykutty Amma by planting a cashew sapling at the Chemmannur Government HS complex.
At Karunagapally, the Taluk Library Council is taking up the scheme by distributing cashew saplings to 1,500 homes. Mr. Jayamohan said that 200 acres of Oil Palm India Limited and 250 acres of the State Farming Corporation would be brought under the scheme.
In addition to that, the Aralam Farming Corporation and managements of the private sector estates such as Harrisons Malayalam Plantations, AVT, and Travancore Rubber and Tea Estates had also agreed to bring some portion of their land under cashew farms.
Mr. Jayamohan said that while the cashew processing industry in the country required 20-lakh metric tonnes of raw cashew, the country produced only five-lakh metric tonnes. The rest was being imported from various African countries. But in those countries too, cashew processing was steadily growing as an industry and that poses a serious threat to the processing industry of the State, he said.