Cashew (Anacardim occidentate) is one of the important tropical crop and rankssecond in international trade amongst the major edible nuts.
In the worldscenario, India occupies a premier position contributing about 43 per centof the cashew nut production. Despite India being the largest producer andexporter of cashew nut, the production of raw cashew nut in the country isfar below the requirement of the processing sector.
In India Cashew Nut iscultivated mainly in costal region. The Cashew producing states areMaharashtra, Kerala, Orissa, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka & Tamilnadu.
Further, Cashew Nut is imported into India from the other producer countriesalso. The same is processed here and then it is either distributed in the localmarket or re exported.In India, Maharashtra is the leading state in the Cashew Nut production (1,25,000 MT per year). In Maharashtra it is cultivated in Konkan region. Farmerscultivate thousands of acre fallow land under Cashew Nut, by the benefits of ³Rojgar Hami Yojana´ conducted by the Govt. Major districts are Sindhudurg,Ratnagiri, Raigad, and Kolhapur. Nowadays, it is also cultivated in Nasik andVidharbh districts on small scale.The Cashew Nut processing companies in Maharashtra are mainly located inKonkan region, Kolhapur, Pune or Mumbai, due to transportation factor. Mostof them produce the Cashew Kernels and sell with its natural taste. However,some of the processors further process the Cashew Kernels (roasting, etc.) toadd flavours (salted, spicy, masala, honey, etc.) to it. Such products are sold inthe retail market at better price.Since Cashew Nut is one of the most favourite nut, all the supply is receivedand consumed in the market without remarkable price reduction. There is largeroom for the new industries to come in and hence the proposed capacity of the plant ( 7.5 MT per year) would be very easily absorbed by the market at thecurrent price.
Cashew Kernel has got wide range of consumption pattern in the food industry,as a ready-to-eat nut of natural taste, roasted nut, honey nut, nutritionsupplement, and food ingredient or as a source of Cashew Oil, etc. It hastraditionally proven to be one of the most favorite nuts of the world.