Showing signs of steadily moving out of the red, the public sector Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) is recruiting 5,000 cashew workers this year in phases in its 30 cashew factories. Of them, 3,000 will be women.
At a press conference here on Thursday, KSCDC Chairman S. Jayamohan said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan would welcome 1,050 of the new recruits at a function at the Ayathil factory of the KSCDC on September 2.
At the function the Chief Minister would distribute appointment orders. Mr. Jayamohan said the workers were recruited through a formal process. Most of them were skilled workers attached to private factories that had been closed.
He said a large portion of the new recruits would be allocated to the shelling part of cashew processing. Within a month 3,000 persons would be recruited and by the end of the year, the number would go up to 5,000.
At the inaugural function, the Chief Minister would join the Onam celebrations organised by the cashew workers. Prior to August 2016, the KSCDC factories had been lying closed for almost a year. But in the past one year the employees worked for 140 days.
Mr. Jayamohan said the cashew plantation programme initiated by the KSCDC was progressing well. Saplings had been planted on around 6,000 acres. The high-yielding saplings would start fruiting in the third year.
The aim of the plantation was to reduce the KSCDC’s dependence of imported raw nuts for processing. It is expected that within five years almost the entire raw material requirement of KSCDC would be met by native raw nuts.
He said raw nuts produced in the State were currently fetching ₹150 a kilogram and farmers were happy about it. Already the KSCDC was producing and marketing a number of value-added products. Soon KSCDC’s value added cashew apple products will also enter the markets.
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