Mangaluru: The Diamond Jubilee of the Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers’ Association (KCMA), KAJU Summit was held at the TMA Pai International Convention Centre here, on March 14.
Prior to the inauguration of the Kaju Summit, an exhibition was inaugurated by the MLA of Mangaluru South Constituency J R Lobo.
The programme began with an invocation. Honourary Chairman B Ramanath Kamath welcomed the gathering. The chairman of the diamond jubilee committee, Walter D’Souza, briefed on the achievements of the KCMA. He said that sixty years ago, an army of seven men dreamt for an association. “Because of their vision, we are celebrating the fruitful and productive existence in the cashew industry.” He thanked the 7 visionaries for their efforts in forming MCMA. “This vibrant association has managed to spread its wings far and wide, through the length and breadth of the state of Karnataka with over 100 cashew processors and had to be renamed as ‘Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers Association’.”
He further said that the purpose of the summit is to empower the growers of raw cashewnuts, showcase its strength, unveil its vision for the coming 15 years, involve every section of the public in all the activities, focus the attention of the Union and state governments and decision-makers about the immense potential of the industry, arrest the colossal waste of the cashew apple and make the raw cashewnut production much more remunerative for the farmers to evolve a sustainable mechanism by which the farmers are assured of a minimum guaranteed price for their produce and create more awareness about the health and nutritional benefits of cashews.
The programme was inaugurated by the Health and Family Welfare Minister U T Khader by lighting the traditional lamp along with other dignitaries on the dais.
Addressing the gathering, U T Khader said that in earlier days, it was very difficult to promote the product and people were hesitant to invest money because there was no guarantee of business but now you can start any kind of business if you have finance. He said that the cashew crop should be protected. He also said that the association should create awareness among the people about cashew products because people are very cautious about health.
“In the Cashew industry first comes the crop, industry and the consumer, we need to convince the consumer which is good for health. Some people say that cashew has high cholesterol. So, the association should create awareness among the public and promote cashew products so that the public can confidentially buy them.”
MLA Lobo speaking on the occasion said that cashew also plays a vital role in the economy today. “Mangaluru has a number of cashew factories. Though the production flourishes both in domestic and foreign trade, the problems associated with its cultivation, domestic and export marketing, do not permit the growers to reap optimum return and traders do not get reasonable profits.”
Lobo also said that cashew is a plantation and the association should give confidence to the cultivators. Lobo assured support and said that he would take up this issue with the state government to support the cashew cultivation. He urged the association to have a scientific study to explore the ways and means to identify the problems connected with the production and marketing of cashew nut.
Chairman FICI, R K Bhoodes also spoke on the occasion. Indian Ambassador INC, Prathap Nair, President KCMA Bola Rahul Kamath and Secretary Diamond Jubilee committee Pramod Kamath were also present. Madhu compered the programme.