Context: Recently, GOAN Cashew (Kernel) got the GI tag.
About Cashew in India
- Cashew tree is a tropical evergreen variety which was native to northeast Brazil and was introduced to Goa and Mozambique by the Portuguese as a crop.
- Initially, they were introduced for combating soil erosion in coastal areas, since they are fast-growing, tolerate salinity and thrive on sandy soils.
- The story was that the edible value of cashew was discovered by Goan prisoners exiled to Portuguese territory of Africa (Mozambique) during Goa’s freedom movement in the mid-18th century.
- The true fruit of the cashew tree is the cashew nut, which is attached to the bottom of a swollen stalk, known as the cashew apple. The part commonly known as a cashew nut is the kernel, which is protected by a thin skin (testa) and a thicker outer shell. The latter contains an acidic oil, cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL), which is a key by-product of cashew nut production, with a variety of uses
- India is one of largest cashew exporter, with more than 15% of the world’s export share.
- Top three cashew consuming countries: India, USA and Germany.
- Cashews account for 17% of world tree nut production in 2019/20, making it the third most popular tree nut after almonds and walnuts.
- Cashew nuts are consumed in a variety of forms, including as salty or sweet snacks and as ingredients in desserts and savoury dishes, or are further processed into cashew butter or as ingredients in a variety of spreads, sauces, bars and drinks.
Global Production, exports of Cashew Nut
Key climatic factors that affect cashew cultivation
- Temperature: High temperatures (20-35oC, most suitable temperature is between 30-38oC) can promote rapid growth and flowering, but they can also lead to heat stress and decreased yields. Low temperatures can delay flowering and fruit set and can even damage the trees.
- Rainfall: Cashew trees require adequate rainfall for optimal growth and production. However, too much rain can lead to waterlogging and diseases. (100-200 cm annually)
- Relative humidity: High relative humidity (60-90%) can promote the growth of fungal diseases. However, cashew trees also require some humidity to prevent the flowers and fruits from drying out.
- Soil: Cashew trees can be grown in a variety of soil types, but they prefer well-drained sandy or loamy soils. Heavy clay soils are not suitable for cashew cultivation.
- Cashew trees are sensitive to cold and frost, so they should not be grown in areas where the temperature drops below 10°C (50°F) for prolonged periods of time. Cashew trees also require a dry season of at least 4-5 months for flowering and fruit set.
About GI tag
- A geographical indication (GI) tag is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and qualities or reputation that are due to that origin.
- In India, the GI tag is regulated by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
- GI tags are important for protecting the reputation and quality of Indian products.
- They also help to promote the economic development of the regions where the products are produced.