General Information on Cashew




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Cashew can be grown in areas where temperature does not fall below 10˚C in cooler periods for prolonged duration and 32-36˚C during summer months.


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Cashew can be grown in almost all type of soils from sandy to laterite (up to an elevation of 600-700m) including waste lands of low fertility. It grows and yields best in well drained red sandy loams and light coastal sands. Heavy clay soils, poor drainage condition, very low temperature and frost are unsuitable. Sites prone to water logging and excessive alkalinity and salinity are not suitable.


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Since Cashew is a cross pollinated crop, vegetative propagation is recommended to produce planting materials. Soft wood grafts are the best planting materials.


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Successful cashew cultivation depends on the choosing of the best varieties suited to agro climatic condition and adoption of the right prodn. package of practices recommended.


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Normal spacing recommended for planting Cashew is 7.5 m x 7.5 m for poor soils and 10 m x10 m for rich and deep soils and sandy coastal areas. High density planting: High density planting involves planting more no. of grafts per unit area initially and then thinning at a later stage. Here grafts can be planted at a spacing of 4m x4m or 5 x5 m or 8m x 4m consisting of 625 plants per ha.


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Under rainfed conditions, planting is to be done during June-July or September-October coinciding with the monsoon.


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Cashew grafts can be obtained from the Cashew nurseries recognized by the DCCD all over the country.


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Depending upon the Agro-climatic condition the suitable varieties recommended for each region are indicated at Table-1.


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Minimum age of the grafts should be 6 months old and having more than five to seven functional leaves.


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Planting is done in pits of 60 cm cube. Fill the 2/3rd of the pits with top soil and organic manure (compost or dried farm yard manure-minimum 5 Kg per pit ) and grafts are planted after removing the polythene Bag.


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Immediately after planting, the basins of the plants are to be mulched with organic materials. From the first year onwards, cashew requires regular weeding, manuring, irrigation and control measures for pests and diseases.


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The fertiliser dose recommended for different States is indicated below.

State NP2O5(gm/tree)K2O
Kerala750325750
Karnataka500 250250
Tamil Nadu500 200300
Andhra Pradesh500 125125
Orissa 500250250
Maharashtra 1000250250

1/3rd portion of the above recommended dose is to be applied during the first year, 2/3rd portion during second year and full dose from the third year onwards. Fertiliser should be applied in two split doses during pre-monsoon (May-June) and post monsoon (Sept-October).


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For young trees, broadcast the fertilisers over the entire tree basin (10cm deep) with a radial distance of 1 to 1.5 metre within the canopy spread. For adult trees, broadcast the fertilisers over the entire tree basin (15 cm deep) within a radial distance of 2 to 3 metres within the canopy spread, leaving half a metre from the tree trunk.


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Cashew plants require irrigation. 200 litres of water per adult tree may be applied at an interval of 15 days during January to May.


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Drip irrigation is effective. For small plants water may be applied using mud pots and micro tubes.


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Tea mosquito, stem borer, thrips, leaf miner and leaf blossom webber are the important pests of cashew. Of these Tea mosquito and stem borer are the major pests and causes economic damage to the crop.


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Tea mosquito attacks the tree every season during flushing, flowering and fruit set. To control this pest, a spray schedule involving three sprays as shown below are recommended.
1st spray- October-November at the emergence of new flushes 2nd spray- December- January (at the commencement of flowering) 3rd spray- January-February (at complete flowering-fruit initiation)


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One of the following insecticides may be used for the above sprays in rotation. Monocrotophos 25% EC - 0.05%(1.5ml /litre of water Carbaryl 50%WP - 0.1% (2g/litre).


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To control the stem borer, extract mechanically by chiseling out the damaged area of the tree and swab the trunk & exposed roots with carbaryl 0.2% during April-May and October-November.


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Grafts starts yielding at the age of 3 years and continue to be economical upto 30th year. The average yield of a cashew tree is 8-15 Kg/tree depending up on the variety chose for planting.


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The fruits will be ready for harvest about two months after fertilisation of flowers (during March – May) .Only the matured nuts that fall to the ground may be collected manually. The nuts can be extracted from the apple, dried in sun for about 2-3 days and stored temporarily. Immature nuts should not be collected as it may result production of poor quality kernels.


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A fully matured nut will have 25% moisture and grey in colour. Average weight of nuts varies between 6-8 gms and apple 50-80 gms.


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Nuts separated from apple are dried in the sun for 3-7 days depending on the availability of sunlight to bring down the storage moisture level to 7-8% and below. Well dried nuts are then stored in gunny bags or disposed off to market to processors.


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FactorsPercentage
Proteins21.00
Fat47.00
Moisture5.90
Carbohydrates22.00
Calcium0.05
Iron5.00/100 gm

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Pineapple is the most profitable intercrop in cashew plantations during early stages. Tapioca, ground nut, pulses, vegetables like yam, spices like ginger, turmeric etc can also be grown successfully during the initial 3-4 years depending upon the availability of rains.


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Top working is a technique evolved to rejuvenate the unproductive and senile cashew trees of 5-20 years of age.
Method:- The unproductive trees are to be beheaded at a height of 0.75 to 1.00 m from the ground level. Soon after beheading, the stumps and cut portions should be given a swabbing with Blitox and sevin 50% WP (50g each per litre of water). Sprouts emerge 30-45 days after beheading. 10-15 grafting are to be done on every tree to ensure at least 6-7 successful grafts per tree.


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The best season for beheading trees is May- September and best season for Grafting is July-November.


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The best season for beheading trees is May- September and best season for Grafting is July-November.


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Top worked tree start yielding right from the second year of top working.


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Cashewnut Shell Liquid (CNSL) is a by-product of the cashewnut. The nut has a shell of about 1/8 inch thickness inside in which is a soft honey comb structure containing a dark reddish brown viscous liquid, called CNSL.


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is used in industrial purpose like insulating varnishes, electrical conductors windings, Epoxy resins, cements, laminating resins, brake-linings, rubber compounding resins, foundry chemicals etc.


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Cashew apple is a pseudo fruit. It is rich in several nutritional elements required for human health. Some of the edible products prepared out of cashew apple are Juice, Syrup, Jam and Candy.