Grubby cashew-processing factories being revamped


Anchal: The cashew-processing factories here in Kerala's southern region are infamous for sooty walls, dilapidated buildings with ramshackle roofs and unhygienic washrooms. But such old factories in Kollam district are undergoing a major transformation spearheaded by the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC). All the 30 factories under the Corporation are being given modern facilities to provide a better working atmosphere.

The first modernised cashew-processing unit is coming up at Palkulangara in Kollam, followed by the one at Panachivila in Edamulakkal. The Panachivila factory has already acquired a new look with a neat workspace and the latest facilities for peeling, grinding and cutting. The factory also boasts of a baby care room, modern washroom, store room, a place to rest, study and dining hall.

This modernised factory was inaugurated on June 8, said S Jayamohan, chairman of the corporation. There are plans to launch cultivation of high-yielding varieties of cashew on the factory premises, added Jayamohan.

Around 15,000 people work in 30 factories run by the KSCDC. Only 10 of these factories are fully owned by the KSCDC which is on a path of revival.

Recently, it was reported that two abandoned buildings of a cashew-processing factory located at Umayanelloor in Kollam were chosen as polling booths for the Lok Sabha elections. These ready-to-collapse structures had overgrown weeds with reptiles, stray dogs and anti-socials likely frequenting.