Cashew sector seeks revision of MIP, level playing field

Under pressure due to serious competition from from foreign competitors at home and abroad , the Indian cashew industry has sought government intervention to create a “level playing field” and revision of the minimum import price (MIP).”

On the eve of the Kaju India 2019, a global cashew buyer-seller meet beginning here on Wednesday, which will kick off celebrations to mark 100 years of Indian cashew exports, the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India Chairman R.K. Bhoodes said on Tuesday in view of issues being faced by the sector, the CEPCI has urged the government to revise the MIP for cashew kernels and allied products, as well as provide support to exporters. 

“The surge in import of low quality finished and semi-finished cashew kernels using loops in the policy and also unfair methods is a serious threat to the cashew processors,” he said. These imports must be restricted for the survival of the industry, he added. 

The situation has compelled cashew producers to seek import duty hike on broken and whole cashew to 70 per cent from 45 per cent to bring it on par with the tariff for other category of nuts, he added.

According to Bhoodes, India is the world’s largest producer, processor and consumer of cashew. While 70 per cent of the produce is consumed in India, the rest is exported. India processes 17 lakh tonnes of raw cashew nuts per annum. Of this, around 9 lakh tonnes are imported mainly from African countries.

The CEPCI has also urged upward revision of MIP for cashew, which was set in 2013 at a much lower level than current market prices. “The lack of modernisation and high wages are making Indian exports uncompetitive as the cost of processing is lower in other exporting countries,” he said. 

To deal with competition from Vietnam, Brazil and Africa, Indian producers are asking for export support. “We have asked the government to raise the support level of 5 per cent under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) to 10 per cent,” Bhoodes said. 

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