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Cashew (Anacardium 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.
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.

Uses of Cashew

Cashew nuts are a common ingredient in Asian cooking. They can also be ground into a spread called cashew butter similar to peanut butter. Cashews have a very high oil content, and they are used in some other nut butters to add extra oil. In an off-the-shelf package of cashews found in the United States, a 30-gram serving contained 180 calories (750 kilojoules), 70% of which was fat.

MedicalĀ  features of cashew

Cashews are rich in essential amino acids and are a good source of minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous. It has also been noted that cashews provide more of the essential trace elements like iron, copper and zinc than all other nuts.
These minerals in their organic form protect our physical health and nervous system.Cashews are excellent dietary supplements in the human diet especially in lactating women, pregnancy, children and convalascing patients. Protein is present in abundance and that too of a good quality.
Cashews are useful in the treatment of various diseases like scurvy, anemia, nervous weakness etc due to the high Vit.B and iron content.


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