Declining position of India in Cashew production and exports.


Till late 1990s, India was the largest producer of raw cashew nuts(cashew nuts with shell) and largest exporter of processed cashew nuts in the world. Roasted Cashew nuts also used to be an important item of export from India.However India is now not so prominent in the world as an exporter.While India’s production of raw cashew went up only by about 50% from 420,000 MT in 1996 to 675,000 MT in 2011,Vietnam’s production increased by about 500% from 237000 MT to 12,72,000 MT during this period making Vietnam the largest producer in the world. Nigeria’s production went up by about 700% from 110,000 MT to 813000 MT, making Nigeria, the second largest producer behind Vietnam and ahead of India.India thus is only the third largest producer in the world.

The low increase in production in India is due to low yield. During the 15 year period from 1996 to 2011, in India the yield increased only marginally from 0.66MT per hectare, while in Nigeria it went up by about 400% from 0.63MT to 2.46 MT.The yield in Vietnam increased from 2.23MT to 3.84MT.

In India as much as 0.95 million hectare of land is under cashew while Vietnam and Nigeria each have only about 0.33 million ha under cashew.

In 2001, India was the largest exporter of roasted cashew nuts with exporters of about 90,000 MT when Vietnam’s exports were only 44000 MT. But in 2011, India’s exports were almost at the same level at 93,000 MT while Vietnam’s exports went up by 4 times to 195,000 MT.

Cashew tree starts yielding from about 3rd year and its life is about 35-40 years.
India should consider measures to increase yield by encouraging farmers to grow high yielding dwarf varieties, consider giving grants and subsidies and/or procuring raw cashew nuts at a much higher price which would offset effect of increased wages of workers as also services like transport etc.

India should also coordinate with other large producing/exporting countries like Vietnam and Nigeria to promote consumption of cashew nuts in the world particularly in developed importing countries, to evolve high-yielding varieties,exchange of information, exchange of agricultural and industrial experts etc.

Indian Roadways


Extract from 1998 manuscript”WHAT AILS INDIAN ECONOMY”

“Roadways: According to government statistics, in 1995, India had 1.2 million km of unsurfaced highways(road) and 1.4 million km of surfaced road, which was mostly one lane and partly two lanes.

France, for an area of about 5 50 000 sq. km has road length of about 8 50 000 km. India for an area of about 33 00 000 sq km should have about 5.1 million km of road length. If we take population, France, for a population of about 60 million has 850000 km and India for a population of nearly 1000 million should have a road length of about 14 million km. Germany,for an area of about 3 57 000 has a road length of 656000 km and India at this rate should have over 5.7 million km of road length. If Germany with a population of about 83 million has road length of 656000 km,India with a population of 1000 million ,should have road length of over 8 million km. Japan for an area of about 378000 has a road length of 1160 000 km and India for its area should have about 10 million km of road length.Poplation wise also,India with a population of about 8 times that of Japan should have highways of over 9 million km.

From the above, it is clear that India needs to expand its roadways, at least by about two million kilometres of new roads taking the total to about 4.6 million km, widen at least a million kilometres of surfaced road to two/four/six lanes from the existing one/two lanes and convert the 1.4 million kilometres of unsurfaced roads into surfaced roads. There is also an immediate need to construct fly overs at thousands of unmanned and manned railway crossings and road crossings to avoid accidents and to facilitate smooth running of automobile and other traffic on the roads.”

Though the governments at the centre and states have undertaken a number of road projects, these have not changed the situation to any significant extent.

Mr.P.V.Narasimha Rao, the most efficient Prime Minister of India


It is unfortunate that the people of India do not talk much of the Prime Minister of India during the period June 1991- May 1996, Mr.P.V.Narasimha Rao, who was responsible for bringing in economic reforms. Implementation of these economic reforms lead India to be the 3rd largest economy in the world after USA and China. To attain this position, India has overtaken Japan, Germany,France, UK, Italy, Russia and Brazil.In 1991, when Mr.Rao became Prime Minister the foreign exchange reserves were only about US$ 1/-billion and now it is around US$ 300 billion. When Mr. Rao assumed Office, the gold reserves of the country had been pledged to raise loan. Now the country is importing hundreds of tonnes of gold for its reserve. India has also emerged as an investor in foreign countries.Even developed countries are inviting Indian industrialists to invest in their countries. In 1991 Foreign authorities were tightening their visa restrictions for Indian nationals but now they are liberalizing their visa regulations for Indians to attract Indian tourists. In 1991 there was huge unemployment but now there is acute shortage of labour in every sector of the economy.

(Of course there is a long way to go to reach the per capita income level of developed countries. Agricultural production is still very low.Infrastructure is grossly inadequate in spite of the initiatives taken by Mr.Rao.)

Considering the impact of his policies and initiatives on Indian economy,India should honour Mr.Narasimha Rao in an appropriate manner- naming his birthday as national economic liberalization day, issuing commemorative stamps etc.