:: About THE
CROP - CASHEW ::
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
back. 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
afforestation and soil binding to check erosions. The nuts, apple and other by products of
this crop are of commercial importance. Though its commercial exploitation began from the
early 60s, marginal lands and denuded forests were the areas set apart for the
plantation development. Due to the absence of high yielding varieties and multiplication
techniques, indiscript seeds and seedlings were used for planting purposes. 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 creditable record of attaining good amount of foreign exchange by way of
export of cashew kernels. Among the Agri-Horticultural commodities getting exported from
India, cashew ranks the 2nd position. During the year 2001-2002, India could export 97,550
MT of cashew kernels valued at Rs.1,776.80 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 Cashews.
India is the largest area holder of this crop. Cultivation of cashew in India confines
mainly to the peninsular areas. 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 Chattisgarh, North Eastern States
(Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland) and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Now
cashew occupies an area of 7.70 lakh hectares in the country as on 2002-2003 with a
production of 5.00 lakh MT. 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 and agrarian sector employing over 3 lakh
persons with 95% of them being women.