Cashew was introduced in India by the Portuguese four centuries ago mainly to prevent soil erosion. Cashew ranks second among the nine tree nuts which figure prominently in international trade circles, first being Almond. The cashew adapts to various types of soils and climatic conditions and is hardy and draught resistant tree. Cashew is held with great esteem in many customs and cultures. Three main cashew products are traded on the international market - raw nuts, cashew kernels and cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL). A fourth product - the cashew apple is generally processed and consumed locally. The cashew kernel is a rich source of fat (46 percent) and protein (18 percent) and is a good source of calcium, phosphorus and iron. It has a high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids, in particular, the essential fatty acid linoleic acid. The tart apple is a source of vitamin C, calcium and iron. The bark, leaves, gum and shell are all used in medicinal applications. The leaves and bark are commonly used to relieve toothache and sore gums, and the boiled water extract of the leaf or bark is used as a mouth wash. India is the largest producer and exporter of cashew kernels in the world. Over 65 per cent of the world export of cashew kernels is accounted for by India. Indian cashews are consumed in as many as 60 countries all over the world. The Indian cashew kernel is well acclaimed for its good quality, taste and appearance. Sometimes cashew nuts are called nature's vitamin pill, The market for both the raw cashew as well as cashew kernel is controlled by wholesalers who center on the supply chain in a coordinated and organized fashion. The processing units procure major portion of raw cashew nuts through the traders. The farmers are not allowed to sell directly to the processing units by these traders. Thus, Cashew Processing is a good project for entrepreneurs to invest.
Few Indian Major Players are as under:-
Amigo Exports Ltd. B G H Exim Ltd.
Karnataka Cashew Devp. Corpn. Ltd.
Kerala State Cashew Devp. Corpn. Ltd.
Kisan Cold Storage & Refrigeration Service Ltd.
M A C Agro Inds. Ltd.
Mac Industries Ltd.
Mangalya Trading & Investments Ltd.
Moolchand Exports Ltd.
North Eastern Regional Agri. Mktg. Corp. Ltd.
Olam Exports (India) Ltd.
Orissa State Cashew Devp. Corpn. Ltd.
Padmavathi Cashews & Coffee Ltd.
S T C L Ltd.
State Farming Corpn. Of Kerala Ltd.
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