Letter to the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh

Dear Sri. Chandrababu Naiduji,

As you know, Kerala is the first State which started cashew processing on industrial basis and export of processed Kernels. Now more than 10 lakh people meet their livelihood through cashew industry in the state and 98% of them are women. 800 cashew processing units in the state need 6 lakh MT of Raw Cashew Nut (RCN) every year. Domestic production is 80,000 MT only. The huge difference of Demand and Supply leads to exorbitant import and loss of foreign exchange to the exchequer of our nation.

In this regard, Government of Kerala have constituted Kerala State Agency for Expansion of Cashew Cultivation (KSACC) in 2007 to promote cashew cultivation in the state. The KSACC have already taken steps to increase the domestic production of RCN to 1,50,000 MT in a phased manner through promotion of cultivation of high yielding cashew organic grafted plants. Since Kerala faces scarcity of land, State Govt. is taking every steps to find out land for Cashew cultivation in the available forest land set apart for industrial purposes and other Govt / PSUs land within the state, in order to reduce the gap between the domestic production of RCN and the actual requirement of RCN for processing.

Now, Government of Kerala in its policy address made in the Legislative Assembly in June 2016 declared that possibility of developing cashew plantation on lease basis would be explored in other states too. Appropriate provision has also been made in the State Budget for the year 2016-17. Thus, we hope that there ample opportunity of Capital Investment in cashew plantation in Southern States of India.

In this regard, Smt. Mercykutty Amma, my ministerial colleague in charge of Fisheries, Harbour Engineering and Cashew Industry, Kerala and the Principal Secretary to Government Fisheries, Port & Cashew Industry, Govt. of Kerala held discussion with their counterparts Shri. Prathipati Pulla Rao, Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture, Horticulture & Allied Sector, and Horticulture Commissioner, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh on 30.8.2016 at Hyderabad on the issue of allotting land on lease for 99 years to Kerala Government for developing Cashew Plantation in Andhra Pradesh. During the discussion the Hon’ble Minister of Andhra Pradesh promised to take up the request with the Honble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for a favourable decision, since this is a policy matter.

If the land of around 50,000 Ha is made available for cashew cultivation in and around the northern districts of Sreekakulam and Vizhianagaram, sharing the boundary of Odisha. State of Kerala is committed to form Societies with the people of the area concerned and take up cashew cultivation in this land. This would provide better employment to the inhabitants ensure land development and better GDP and income generation for the State of Andhra Pradesh. It is proposed to establish a nursery with hybrid graft plants also as part of the project.

Hence, in the best interest of saving the valuable foreign exchange of our nation, and the welfare of two affected States Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, I solicit your goodself to kindly explore the possibility of allotting 50,000 Ha of land on lease for 99 years to Kerala Government for developing Cashew plantation in Andhra Pradesh, preferably in and around Sreekakulam and Vizhianagaram Districts. A capital investment of about Rs.700 crores is envisaged wholly employing the local inhabitants and farming societies. Detailed Project Report will be submitted in due course accordingly.

Looking forward to your esteemed co-operation and favourable decision in this regard.

Yours sincerely,

Pinarayi Vijayan

Shri. Chandrababu Naidu,
Hon’ble Chief Minister,
Government of Andhra Pradesh