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Project report ready for cashew export zone

Special Correspondent
The Hindu
21 January 2007

Trade volume will touch Rs.150 crore

CUDDALORE: A detailed project report for setting up an agri-export zone for cashew at an estimated cost of Rs.10.36 crore here has been submitted to the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation.

The Government has decided to establish the export zone to get better prices for cashew farmers and access to new markets on a regular basis.

The cost will be shared as follows: Centre Rs. 2.71 crore, State Government Rs.1.50 crore, and private parties Rs.6.15 crore.

Cashew is being raised on 27,900 hectares in the district with a total nut production of 24,000 tonnes and kernal production of 6,000 tonnes. At least 65 cashew-based units 15 cashew oil factories and 50 cashew kernel factories have come up in the district.

At present, 2,000 workers are employed in the cashew industry that has an annual turnover of Rs 50 crore. Once the export zone comes into being, it might provide employment to 30,000 people and the trade volume is likely to touch Rs.150 crore

.

Modern facilities

The proposed export zone will have a solar-based cashew processing unit, cashew nutshell extraction unit, cold storage, fruit juice concentration unit, packaging house, laboratory, collection centres and a godown. Agriculture Secretary Surjit K. Chaudhury held a meeting with District Collector Rajendra Ratnoo and officials here on Friday to ascertain the views of the stakeholders such as cashew growers, exporters and officials, on the export zone proposal.

Mr. Chaudhury noted that under the National Horticulture Mission, a sum of Rs. 3.46 crore was earmarked for Cuddalore to bring 1,200 more hectares under cashew crop cultivation and to replace the dried-up plant stocks with fresh plant material on 500 hectares.

Commissioner of Regulated Markets Basheer Ahmed participated.

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