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07/05/2019 11:55am

Cashew industry facing closure due to surge in fraudulent import of cashew kernel from competing countries: CEPCI

image Cashew industry facing closure due to surge in fraudulent import of cashew kernel from competing countries: CEPCI

New Delhi, May 7 (KNN) The cashew processors and exporters lead by the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) have expressed concern at sharp surge in fraudulent import of cashew kernel in the country from the competing countries leading to almost closure of the domestic cashew industry.

In a press statement, the Chairman of CEPCI, Dr R.K. Bhoodes said "The sharp surge in illegal imports of cashew kernels in India has added further woes to the already crisis hit cashew industry.”

He said that large scale imports of low quality plain cashew kernels from competing countries have literarily pushed cashew industry to the verge of a closure. If this practice is allowed to be continued, that would lead to the total collapse of the cashew industry in India.

At present more than 50% of the cashew related factories are closed down retrenching around 6 Lakhs cashew workers on pan India basis due to these fraudulent imports by a section of traders in the industry, Bhoodes pointed.

He mentioned "Several importers misusing the provisions of importing large volumes of plain cashew kernels (mostly brokens) from competing countries like Vietnam, Mozambique, Ivory Coast etc.”

These countries have recently started processing and the products are inferior in quality compared to Indian products. Also, these countries don't have a domestic market to sell their broken cashew kernels which is produced (25-35% by volume) in normal course of processing, he added.

Hence these countries are forced to sell their broken cashew kernels at throw away prices. Further some of the Indian processors have opened their processing units in these countries. They also push these low quality kernels into the Indian market in these fraudulent ways, said Bhoodes.

Bhoodes further explained that these imports have adversely affected both the domestic and export markets of India. When such low quality and low priced broken kernels are dumped in Indian domestic market evading customs duty , genuine processors in India  find it extremely difficult to sell their products and the domestic market prices have declined to such a low level that domestic processing is unviable in India.

Further re-exporting of low quality wholes kernels of other countries with Indian labels has tarnished the brand of Indian kernels in the overseas market. Indian quality has almost lost its credibility in the international market.

Such exports of imported unpeeled cashew kernels also avails 5% export incentive as well as applicable to fully processed cashew in India. This is a big blow to the efforts of the CEPCI to promote "Indian cashew as a brand”, he pointed.

Concerning the situation, the CEPCI delegation consisted of processors and exporters from Kerala, Tami Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha met various government officials.

Bhoodes said “We have urged the government to use COFEPOSA or the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act to retain foreign currency and prevent smuggling.

The other demands of industry include import of cashew kernels into India (including the 12 categories of mis-declarations) should be subject to 100% inspection by the customs for sampling and testing.

Fraudulent importers should be blacklisted and COFEPOSA should be invoked against such repeated importers, the industry demanded.


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