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PRODUCT PROFILE
Cashew
  • Cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) a native of Eastern Brazil introduced to India just as other commercial crops like Rubber, Coffee, Tea etc. by the Portuguese nearly five centuries ago.
  • The first introduction of cashew in India was made in Goa from where it spread to other parts of the country. In the beginning it was mainly considered as a crop for a forestation and soil conservation and to check erosions.
  • The nuts, apple and byproducts of this crop are of commercial importance. Though its commercial exploitation began from the early 60's, marginal lands and denuded forests were the areas set apart for the development of cashew.
  • Due to the absence of high yielding varieties and multiplication techniques, seeds and seedlings were used for planting.
  • Because of its adaptive ability in wide range of agro climatic conditions it has become a crop of high economy and attained the status of an export oriented commodity bringing considerable foreign exchange to the country.
  • India has a credible record of earning  good amount of foreign exchange by way of export of cashew kernels.
  • During the year 2008 , India could export cashew kernels valued at Rs.3014 crores . USA, Netherlands, UK, Japan, UAE, France, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Italy, German Fed. Republic, Austria, Israel and Spain are the major international buyers of Indian Cashew kernels
  • India has the largest area under this crop. Cultivation of cashew in India confines mainly to the coastal regions of the country.
  • It is grown in Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra along the west coast and Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal along the east coast .
  • To a limited extent it is being cultivated in Chhattisgarh, North Eastern States -Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland and Andaman & Nicobar Islands .
  • Now cashew occupies an area of 8.93 lakh hectares in the country as of 2008 with a production of 6.95 lakh MT of cashew nuts.
  • Of these, 2.00 lakh ha of the plantations developed from the beginning of 8th Plan alone have been with superior clones of high yielding varieties.
  • It generates employment in the processing sector to over 3 lakh persons ,majority of them being women.
  • The cashew kernels are used in confectionery and desserts. The shells contain a high quality oil known as cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) which has got wide industrial uses.
  • Cashew apple is eaten fresh or mixed in fruit salads and a drink is prepared from the juice. Cashew can be distilled to produce alcoholic drink (Fenny).
  • Marketing of raw cashew nuts in India has not yet been organized in systematic manner except in Goa where co-operative marketing society is procuring raw nuts to a small extent.
  • A major portion of the produce is brought by itinerant merchants and the agents of the processing units.
  • A number of wholesale merchants and the processing factories open their collecting centre's in important cashew producing areas during the harvesting period.
  • The petty dealers who buy the nuts from the growers also dispose the nuts in these collecting centre's.
  • Cashew nuts are brought for sale to the assembling markets largely by the itinerant merchants.
  • In certain areas, the most resourceful processors contact the producers, thus avoiding the commission agents and enjoy good bargaining power by providing credit facilities to the producers.
Package Of Practices - Crop Cultivation

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