General Secretary, OCPA.
About Odisha Cashew
state Odisha is situated in the east coast of India with
10 climatic zones, 482 Km of coastal line (Bay of
Bengal), rich forest areas, mountains, good number of
rivers, underground mines of Iron Ore, Coal, Bauxite
etc. Also it has world famous monuments like Konark,
Lord Jagannath temple and lake Chilika, the second
largest lagoon in the world and is a good tourist destination. Odisha stands third in Cashew cultivation, production
and processing in India, claiming 16% of land under
cashew cultivation area at 1.68 Lakh hectares and
producing 1,00,000 MT of Raw Cashew Nut (13.6% of
India's Raw Cashew Nut production). As on date,
there are more than 350 cashew processing industries
processing approximately 1,25,000 metric tonnes of Raw Cashew
Nuts, thus generating 35,000 employment opportunities
The economy of Odisha cashew sector: Raw Cashew Nut sector generates an annual revenue of Rs 950 crores. Converting raw cashews into kernels by processing earns an additional value of more than Rs 250 crores. Hence, Odisha cashew sector generates approximately Rs 1200 crores every year. The average RCN yield per hectare in Odisha is 680 kg per hectare which is lower than national and international average. Therefore, the appropriate and timely steps such as gap filling of old and senile orchards, planting of new hybrid varieties in waste and fallow lands and new variety of grafted plants need to taken on war footing to boost Odisha's economy so also to generate future employment along with environmental point of view.
Odisha is the third largest producer, processor of cashew in India. Despite that, the state is unable to export a single kilogram of Cashew Kernels. Hence it becomes the moral responsibility of every stakeholder of the entire cashew value chain, including the concerned State Govt. departments to look into the sector seriously to achieve the goal, for the best interest of the farmers and the economy..
The major advantages in Odisha state are vast waste lands for future cashew plantation, favorable climatic conditions, self sufficient energy management, good connectivity such as rail, road, air and port and availability of rural women force and raw cashew nut.
The major drawbacks in the state are (a) Lack of proper policy of raw cashew distribution to the processing Industries, and (b) Inadequate finance to cashew units by Banks or financial Institutions. In addition to this, lack of awareness and latest technical know how of the technologies, lack of proper grading as per CEPCI, lack of proper packing for exports, lack of commission agents for marketing of cashew kernels and lack of infrastructure facilities and Govt. support for export from the state.
Odisha State has a bright future for both cashew plantations and processing. Together with the government, the cashew industry in Odisha can reap the benefits.