Cashew manufacturers on Saturday sought the State government’s help for farmers to make use of cashew apple that is being wasted in a large quantity.
At the inauguration of platinum jubilee of the Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers Association (KCMA) here, president of the celebration committee Walter D’Souza urged Minister for Health U.T. Khader to ensure that farmers growing cashew realised the commercial value of the apple.
Recently, KCMA said that about 4 lakh tonnes of cashew apple was being wasted in a year in Karnataka and the association had decided to focus on ensuring that the pulp containing nutrients is put to good use. It suggests that its vast potential could be harnessed in multiple ways such as making juice out of it – a project that can be given to self help groups – and growers who lacked knowledge about this need to be educated.
Reflecting on the “sparkling history” of KSMA, Mr. D’Souza said the cashew industry employed 50,000 people, mostly women, and the turnover had gone from Rs. 12 crore in 1955 to Rs. 2,400 crore now – a 200-times growth. The exports had grown 100 times from Rs. 8 crore in 1955 to Rs. 800 crore now.
The industry, which used to rely on manual processes of breaking the nuts, had fully mechanised it. He said the KCMA would show that cashew could be affordable to the middle class.
Mr. Khader urged the KCMA to convince people about its stated health benefits and promote it on the lines of the promotions for egg as a healthy product. The Minister said the government would stand by the association.