Botanical Name : Anacardium occidentale
Cashew is an important Dollar earning crop of India, remarking second (29%) in the international trade of the nuts. It is a crop of marginal lands and can be grown under rainfed conditions.
Origin and Distribution:
Cashew belongs to the Family Aricardiaceae. It is a native of South Eastern Brazil. Li most tropical areas it is found growing in the coastal areas. The commercial production is mainly confined to India, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya; Brazil, Philippines, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
Area and Production:
In India total area under cashewnut is 5.75 lakh ha. and the annual production of raw nut is only 245576 tons which works out to only 427 kg of units per hectare. In Maharashtra, it is grown on an area of 22692 hectares and the annual production is 19120 tonnes. India earns about 200 crores of rupees annually through expert of cashew kernels.
Composition and Uses:
It is one of the most delicious and nutritious nuts of the world, cashew contains 5.9%moisture, 21.2% protein, 46.9% fat, 22.3% carbohydrates, 0.45% phosphorus, 0.05% calcium, 5.0 mg/100 g iron, 2.4% minerals and amino acids.
Cashew is the most popular nut used by the confetionary industry. Cashewnut shell liquid (CMSD) is in important by-product of cashewnut industry. Cashew which contains a good amount of vitamin C, upto 5 times that of citrus fruits, used for different preparations like pickle, jam, candy, -chutney etc.
Cashew is mainly a crop of the tropics. It does not establish well in areas subject to frost. Coastal areas having humid and warm climate are best suited for cashew cultivation. Cashew requires a minimum rainfall of 600 mm and above. However, it does not establish well areas subject to frost. It is a sun loving tree and therefore, does not tolerate excessive shade. It does not thrive below 20°C temperature for long period and very high temperature 39 to 42°C during the movable stage of fruit development cause fruit drop. Heavy rains and cloudy weather adversely affect the yield in cashew.
It is generally grown on a waste lands of low fertility also. Being hardy plant, cashew can grow in varkas land on top slope of the hills, red sandy loams arid light coastal sandy soils as well. It requires a well drained soil. It can be grown on almost all types of soil from sandy sea coast to laterite hill slopes upto an elevation of 700 m above sea level.
Vengurla- 1 (Selection frofnAnsur-1)
Vengurla – 2 (Selection from West Bengal Deepal Semuha)
Vengurla – 3 (Vengurla-1 x Vectore-56)
Vengurla – 4 (Midnapur Red x Vectore – 56)
Vengurla – 5 (Ansur Barly x Mysore Rotekar 1/61)
For raising a new plantation, pits of l3 m are dig in summer at 7×7 or 8×8 distance. The pits are refilled to a depth of 30. cm with a mixture of top soil, 50 mg FYM, 2.5 kg SSP just before the onset of monsoon. After first shower of . rains, the remaining top of the pit is refilled with a 10 cm layer of dry leaves over which a layer of 8 cm soil is made. Sowing of seeds or planting of grafts is done after receiving of 3-4 rains.
Manuring and Fertilization:
Cashew responds, very well to manuring. To ensure* early and higher yield,-regular fertilizer application is needed. The fertilizer recommendation for cashew is 500 g N, 125 g x P205 and 125 K20 per tree from 4th year onwards and to be applied in split doses before and after the South West monsoon.
The fertilizers should be applied within the radius of 2 m of tree. The application of fertilizer may be done after complete weeding and “cleaning of basins of each tree to avoid the competition for nutrients from weeds.
Stage of Growth
Per tree per year in g
May – June
4th year onwards
Cashew is a hardy and rainfed crop. Its extensive root system is capable of absorbing moisture from sub soil. The irrigations are therefore, not required by this crop. However, it is advised to irrigated newly planted grafts / seedlings for the initial period of two years till their root system is established well. The irrigation during flowering and fruiting period help to reduce the fruit drop.
Keeping orchard free from weeds is important aspect of management. The first weeding may be done before heavy rains and before application of first dose of fertilizers. The second weeding may carried out after monsoon.
Use of Mulch:
Mulching in cashew plantation is helpful in regulating soil temperature and conserve soil moisture. It also prevents soil orosion and improves soil fertility. Mulching to bearing cashew trees with black polythene mulch during pest – monsoon has given higher yields than the trees without mulching.
Intercropping in cashew plantation would enable higher returns during the initial years. There should be no scope for intercropping once the cashew canopy comers the area and shades the interspace. For intercropping in cashew, caroli and kokam is best suited. Shevage and neem can also be taken as inter crop.
Cashew planted by grails gives yield after 3-4 years and that from seedlings 5 – 6 years after planting. Flowering commences in the month of Dec – Jan. on new shoots and fruits will be ready for harvest, after 50-55 days. Harvesting and collection- of nuts are .done over a period of 10-12 weeks. Harvesting, commences, from Feb. and continues upto May. The crop is gathered from the ground after the apple is allowed, to drop down naturally with the attached nut The .fruits are collected every day and the nuts are separated.-Allowing the fruits t& Ml by itself ensures the fully matured nut. The nuts gathered are Sun dried for 2 – 3 days before storing.
The yield per tree is estimated at 8 to 15 kg. However, the maximum yield produced by Vengurlar-3, Vengurla-4 and Vengurla-5 is 20.78 kg, 27.34 kg and 31.26 kg respectively.
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