Tuesday, March 18, 2008

India: Cashew output on the rise, except in State

The government, on Monday, said cashew production in the country has increased, except in Kerala where the output has slumped to 72,000 tonnes in 2006-07 from 95,000 tonnes in 2003-04. "The production of cashew in the country is in an increasing trend, except in Kerala", Minister of State for Agriculture Kanti Lal Bhuria said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. The data submitted by Mr. Bhuria shows that total cashew production in the country has gone up by 8.2% to 6.2 lakh tonnes during 2006-07, compared to 5.73 lakh tonnes in an year-ago period.Kerala, among the top cashew producing States, showed a declining trend in its output at 72,000 tonnes in 2006-07 against 95,000 tonnes in 2003-04, it said. Maharashtra topped in cashew production at 1.97 lakh tonnes, followed by Andhra Pradesh at 99,000 tonnes, West Bengal at 84,000 tonnes, Kerala at 72,000 tonnes and Karnataka at 52,000 tonnes. As far as acreage under the crop is concerned, the data showed a downward trend in Kerala, 80,000 hectares in 2006-07 from 1,00,000 hectares five years ago. However, the yield level has increased marginally to 900 a kg.Mr. Bhuria said the Kerala State Agency for Cashew Cultivation had not submitted any proposal for financial aid to enhance cashew cultivation in the State. However, to improve the cashew output in the country, the National Horticulture Mission is being implemented since 2005-06 to promote holistic growth of the horticulture sector, which includes cashew, Mr. Bhuria said. New plantation and replanting old and uneconomical cashew gardens with high yielding varieties are the major activities undertaken under the mission to increase cashew production in the country, he said.

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