KENDRAPARA: Cashew nut manufacturing in coastal Kendrapara and close by areas, regardless of having prospects for villagers, has not benefitted growers because of the middlemen nexus and absence of a processing unit. Add to it the influence of the pandemic.
Sources mentioned there are over 4,000 farmers who develop practically 100 quintal cashew within the district yearly. However they don’t get honest costs for the produce as middlemen procure uncooked and unprocessed cashew from them at costs method decrease than the market worth.
They then provide it to processors outdoors the district. Whereas middlemen procure uncooked cashew from farmers at Rs 80-Rs 100 a kg, sources mentioned, the processors promote the identical at Rs 400-Rs 500 available in the market.
A bulk of uncooked cashews from Kendrapara are processed at models in Ganjam district. With no processing unit within the district, farmers don’t have any possibility however to show to middlemen for supplying the uncooked cashew to processors. As it’s, uncooked cashew fetches decrease charges whereas the processed nut has excessive returns.
Secretary of district unit of Krusaka Sabha, Madhab Das mentioned some processors have entrusted middlemen to purchase and provide uncooked cashew from far-flung areas. The middlemen purchase a good portion of uncooked cashew nuts from farmers paying solely Rs 80 to Rs 100 per kg. Whereas, after processing, the processors promote a kg of cashew nuts for Rs 400 to Rs 500 within the markets,” he mentioned. The state of affairs has solely worsened with the lockdown restrictions since final yr.
“We used to produce uncooked cashew nuts on to some processing crops in Puri and Ganjam district . However the lockdown has pressured us to rely upon middlemen,” mentioned Randhir Haldar, a farmer of Ramnagar village. One other Naveen Mandal, a cashew nut farmer of Petachela village claimed the cashew nut market is now being managed by brokers which is placing them at an obstacle.
The exploitative scenario has pressured many farmers to desert cashew nut farming which is in any other case a profitable enterprise specifically in coastal areas.
Assistant director of Horticulture division in Kendrapara, Kanda Jena mentioned the division underneath MGNREGS has supplied monetary assist to round 200 cashew nut growers encouraging them to domesticate the seed over 30 hectares of land inside three years within the district.
“The Odisha State Cashew Improvement Company (OSCDC) and the Horticulture division aren’t controlling the costs of cashew nuts. We offer cashew saplings to the farmers. The principle goals of OSCDC and Horticulture are to develop land and lift cashew plantations and different appropriate species within the State moreover offering fertilizers, manures, dips, spray, disinfectants, fungicides, pesticides and so on,” he mentioned, including that the federal government has no coverage relating to minimal help worth (MSP) of cashew nuts.
Contacted, OSCDC chairman Amarendra Das mentioned “ We’re decided to supply correct worth to farmers for uncooked cashew nuts. The federal government has no cashew processing plant within the state although some personal gamers are working models within the state. The state authorities is encouraging folks to ascertain cashew processing crops within the state for which extra businessmen ought to come ahead for the advantages of farmers”.