24 December 2019
Bhubaneswar: Union Minister of State (MoS) for MSME Pratap Chandra Sarangi today inaugurated the Regional Office of the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) here.
This is the first regional office of the CEPCI.
"Establishment of the regional office here will be of great help to exporters of cashew from the State. Exporters here will no longer be required to send their product to distant Kochi for quality assessment. The laboratory here will do the job" said Sarangi speaking to reporters after the inaugural ceremony at the Krushi Bhawan.
"This will go a long way in value addition to cashew, its processing and exports," he added.
"Odisha is the third-largest producer and processor of cashew in the country. Over the last decade, Odisha has recorded tremendous growth in both production and processing. When CEPCI decided to open its first branch office in the country it didn't have to think thrice but Odisha headed the list," stated R K Bhoodes, Chairman CEPCI in his address.
"Presence of this regional office will bring the CEPCI to work close to the processors in the State. Today the government has a lot of schemes to support the exporters and CEPCI is the nodal agency to implement most of the schemes of the Government of India," he elaborated.
Director Horticulture and Secretary OHDS Bijoy Ketan Upadhyaya said that currently, Odisha produces 91 lakh MT cashews.
"We have set a target to increase our production to 125 lakh MT cashew and focus to bring 22,000 hectares under cashew cultivation," revealed Upadhyay talking to reporters.
Director Horticulture said that currently, the State has 350 cashew processing units while adding that production was high in the districts of Cuttack, Nayagarh, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, and Gajapati.
He pointed out that cashew plantation has suffered major damage under the effect of Cyclone Fani and efforts are on for restoration.