Area and Production
In India cashew is being grown in an area of 10.27 lakh hectares with a total production of 7.25 lakh MT of raw nuts and unit area productivity of 706 kg/ha. India is the largest producer of rawcashewnut contributing 20% of total global production. The major distribution of Cashew in India is in the States of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra along the West Coast, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa along the East Coast and some extent in the states of West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand & North Eastern States. The production and productivity of cashew is highest in the state of Maharashtra. The highest average productivity of Maharashtra is 1262 Kg/ha. Andhra Pradesh and Orissa are the other two States in the 2nd and 3rd position followed by Maharahstra in the production of cashew in India.
India is the major exporter of cashew kernels and earns a sizeable amount of foreign exchange to the tune of Rs. 5500 crores per annum. India exports cashew kernels to more than 60 countries mainly to USA, UAE, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Japan. A total of 1.19 lakh MT of cashew kernels were exported to these countries in addition to other byproducts like Cashew Nut Shell Liquid, Cardanol etc.
The Indian Cashew Industry is almost export oriented. At present more than 3900 processing units are functioning in India under organized and unorganised sector with a processing capacity of 16.43 lakh MT per year. The domestic production is almost 50% of the demand and hence India depends heavily on import of rawnut from Asian and African Countries to bridge the gap of the industry.