Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cashewnut in Garo Hillls Meghalaya India

Cashew (Anacardium occidentale), a native of Brazil, was introduced in India during the latter half of the 16th Century for the purpose of forestation and soil conservation. Cashew has now emerged as a major foreign exchange earner next only to tea and coffee. Among various nuts such as hazelnuts, almonds, etc., cashew nut enjoys a significant position and it is an unavoidable snack in all important social functions especially in the western countries.
The cashew nutshell liquid (CNSL) is mostly composed of anacardic acids. These acids have been used effectively against tooth abscesses due to their lethality to a wide range of Gram-positive bacteria. Anacardic acid is also used in the chemical industry for the production of cardinal, which is used for resins, coatings, and frictional materials. Many parts of the plant are used medicinally. The bark is scraped and soaked overnight or boiled as an antidiarrheal; it also yields a gum used in varnish. Seeds are ground into powders for antivenom for snake bites. The nut oil is used topically as an antifungal and for healing cracked heels. The nuts contain 45 percent fat and 26 percent carbohydrates.
National scene: Commercial cultivation of cashew in India is taken up in eight states in India. It is also cultivated on small areas in other states of the country. India has an area of about 7.30 lakh hectare under cashew with an estimated annual production of about 4.60 lakh tonnes of raw cashew nut. India is the largest producer, processor, consumer and exporter of cashew in the world. The current production accounts for 45 percent of the global production. A large number of small and marginal farmers, especially living on the coastal belts of India, depend on cashew for their livelihood. Nearly 2.00 lakh workers, more than 90 percent of whom are women, are directly employed in cashew processing factories which are concentrated mostly in Kerala. It is estimated that nearly two million people are involved, directly and indirectly in cashew cultivation, processing and marketing. The important cashew growing states of India are Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Meghalaya.
Meghalaya scene: The latest data available on cashew in Meghalaya in 2006-07 records the area under cashew plantation as 8623 hectare, production as 11300 metric tonnes and yield per hectare as 1656 kg. While in West Garo Hills district during the same period the area under cashew cultivation was 3216 hectare, production was 7770 metric tonnes and yield per hectare was 2416 kg.

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