Panaji, Sep 17 (PTI) Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has sought help from Cashew Export Promotion Council of India to increase its production in the coastal state, which has witnessed a dip in recent times.

He was speaking at a function organised by the council here.

“Goa has a cashew production of 650 kilograms per hectare which is less compared to the national average. We need to take this production to around 1,200-1,400 kilograms per hectare,” Parrikar said addressing the event today.

He said that Cashew Export Promotion Council of India should help the state government to increase the production which will also lead to rise in the exports.

“If you work out a plan for improving the production of cashew in Goa, the state government is ready to bear 80 per cent of the cost for it,” the chief minister said.

He pointed out that the state produces 7.08 thousand tonnes of cashew nuts while the consumption in Goa is 15,000 tonnes.

“The demand in the state is fulfilled with the import from outside the country, which needs to be stopped,” Parrikar said.

The chief minister said that attempts should be made to increase the production and considering the coverage of cashew plantation in the state, all the shortage will be covered up in next 10-years.

Referring to the modernisation in the cashew processing industry, Parrikar feared that such a move is resulting in loss of employment for many, mostly women, who were working from home for the units.

He said that the increase in production can be one of the solution for the problem of increasing unemployment from the labour intensive cashew industry sector.

“The technology is improving our lives but it is also reducing the employment opportunities,” he said adding that “biggest strength of the country is its youth, but at the same time, it can also be a problem, if there are no employment opportunities available.”

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.