Postby femtouch » 2018-03-15 22:46

Cashew is a cash crop with very good quality in Nigeria and it is grown in about 27 states in Nigeria.

The best location for Raw Cashew Nut (RCN) is Ogbomosho Origin with Nut count between 148 to 170 and Kernel Out-Turn Ratio (KOR) between 48 to 52 depending on the season or months of the year.

Cashew flag off in Nigeria commences in February with peak of the RCN in terms of volume and quality in March however, some species produces all year roung.

Cashew processing and RCN export is a major business however, there are lots of different people in the RCN business; the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.


Critical things you must know for any successful RCN Agribusiness venture:

i. Nut count
ii. Kernel Out-turn Ratio - KOR
iii. RCN Origin
iv. RCN Year

Testing for Quality:
The Testing of RCN to get the nut counts, defective ratio, KOR and more require a technical process.

You will need some basic equipment to carry out this test, necessary equipment needed are as follows:

i. Cashew Scissors or cutter
ii. Hand gloves
iii. Bowls (4 Bowls, try to have them in different colours)
IV. Weighing scale (Electronic)
v. Moisture meter
vi. Water (for a quci level test)

You are to randomly select 1 Kg sample of the nuts from the lots you wish to buy from; either already bagged or spread on the sun drying floor.

1. Nut count: From the 1kg sample you picked randomly, count how many nuts you have in that 1kg. This is your nut count.

2. Moisture: You can use the moisture meter or press the nut hard, if you see liquid from it then its not well dried.
If not then you are good, you can buy the stock

Alternatively is to take a bunch of the nuts (between 4 to 8 units) in your palms, make your palms like you want to pray with the nuts inside, then shake properly. If you get a weak sound then its not properly dried but if you get the sound of well dried nuts then u are good.


These two are the major tests of RCN quality


Take the 1kg nuts, cut open with the scissors to show show the kernels, skin and shell.

once open separate the kernels based on good, spotted, stunted growth and bad (in the various bowls), make sure you scrub the kernel and the testa(skin) together into the bowls.

once done separating, weigh the good nuts and record whole, take the spotted and stunted nuts together (i.e after removing the kernel with knife), weigh and the result you get must be divided by 2. The bad nuts would not be weighed or even separated because its not useful for KOR calculation. Add the weigh from the good nuts to the weigh of the spotted and stunted nuts. The answer you get would be multiplied by 0.176 and that is your KOR.

Major Tips To Note:

CASHEW NUT is an agro export crop. Though active to South America, it is cultivated in some parts of West, Middlebelt and Eastern Nigeria. Areas like Ogbomosho, Ilorin, Shaki, Ejigbo, Kabba, Okeonigbin, Omun-Aran, Oyo, Anyigba, Enugu, Lafia, Keffi etc.

The cashew nut tree is mostly cultivated for its nuts: the raw cashew nut is gray in color with about 3mm thick shell, inside this shell is the edible kernel covered by a light brown skin. It is either exported as raw cashew nut, i.e. in-shell or as processed cashew nut kernel in special packaging.
Most raw cashew nut is exported to India and Vietnam while the processed cashew kernel is exported to Europe and America being the largest consumer in the world.
The crop season in Nigeria is from February – May. But trading is usually all year round, some traders usually store the raw cashew nuts and sell when it is out of season and scarce.

A raw cashew nut that looks good on the outside may have bad kernel inside. The yield of the kernels, percentage of defective, average size of the nuts and moisture content are used to determine the quality of the nuts, which usually determines the price a buyer may offer for any raw cashew nut.
Hence effort should be made to improve or conserve the expected good quality derived from proper handling.


Do not harvest or pluck unripe cashew nuts because the kernel may be shriveled or immature. Hence, only mature and ripe cashew nuts should be harvested and this be done daily.

Do not let the nuts remain on the ground for more than a day before gathering to avoid long contact with soil moisture, sprouting and deterioration e.g. decay.

Sundry the harvested nuts as soon as possible for two or three days depending on the intensity of the sun.

Sundry on a clean surface and should be lightly spread (not higher than 3 inches) and turned regularly to allow uniform dryness.

Do not expose dry cashew nuts to moisture. This is a major requirement for agricultural commodities.

Use only jute bags to bag raw cashew nuts.
Do not heap it un-bagged or in plastic containers to avoid deterioration especially if not properly dried.

Do not bag it in poly-propylene bags.

Cashew nuts meant for export must be thoroughly dry and reasonably free from extraneous matter such as sticks, stalks and other vegetable matter other than cashew nuts. It must also be free from stones.

Total impurities (stones, sticks, stalks and other
vegetable matter) shall not exceed 0.5% of 1kg
sample analyzed.
148 – 170 ………………. EXCELLENT
180 – 190 ………………. VERY GOOD
191 – 200 ………………. GOOD
201 – 210 ………………. MIDDLE
211 – 220 ………………. LOW MIDDLE
221 – 230 ………………. LIMIT ACCEPTABLE
ABOVE 230 ………………. POOR

Note: 160 – 190 nut count is usually the benchmark for exporting raw cashew nuts. But some importers may not be willing to buy RCN that is above 200 nut counts.
In Nigeria, the nut count per 1kg sample varies from zone to zone. While zones like Ogbomosho has between 148 and 180/185, Kogi – 190 to 205/210, Ondo – 190 to 205/210, Ilorin – 190 to 205, lafia/keffi – 200 to 210, etc.

Exportable quality shall not be more than 10%. You have to make sure the raw cashew nuts are properly sundried and the moisture content must be properly analyzed.

It is the quality of good nut we get from 80kg of raw cashew nuts. The count is in pound per 80kg.
47 – 49 GOOD
45 – 46 AVERAGE

Diseased or mouldy – shall include all nuts which when cut reveal the presence of fungi growth or a milky patch or a spread of brown or black spot on the split kernel. This is often caused by high moisture for several days prior to proper dryings, wrong packing and
improper storage.

BROWN RANCID ROTTEN (BRR) – shall include all brown, rancid, rotten and discolored kernels which are light yellowish in color. This is caused by similar factors listed above.

VOID – these are nuts which show absence of kernel, emptiness or absence of a kernel of useful size. This is probably caused by natural malformation.

IMMATURE/SHRIVELED – shall include all nuts which when cut contain space between the kernel and the shell, shrink or contain kernel that is not fully developed. This is caused by harvesting immature nuts.

SPOTTED – shall include all nuts which show the presence of a black or brown spot on the kernel.
This is caused by insect bite at the early stages of the development of the nuts.

INSECT DAMAGE (WEEVILLED) – shall include all cashew nuts which when cut show a state of insect attack or weevilled or presence of bead-like or powdery particles. Poor storage condition is responsible for this.

Carrying out a quality check test on cashew nuts like every other agricultural export produce begins with proper sampling. Samples shall be drawn from not less than 30% of consignment, sample shall be properly mixed, reduced and from which 1kg sample is drawn for analysis which include moisture, nut count, defectives and finally KOR.

The quality of a bad cashew nut consignment can be improved by hand picking.

HAND PICKING – means picking or removing all suspected cashew nuts such as very small nuts, light weight nuts apparently rotten, broken or wounded nuts out of the consignment.

Cashew is generally cultivated for the raw cashew nuts in Nigeria. Mature cashew trees normally start flowering in late November to December. The fruit matures in 90 – 100 days after flowering. The ripe fruits normally start to drop in late January, the peak fruit collection period is between mid February and mid April.
It is important to remember that the excellence and thoroughness of post harvest handling affects the quality of the product and thus brings better price to farmers.

Cashew Nut.jpg

Other Tips

What you can do before the season begins:

1. Buy jute bags: price of jute bags is usually low now. You can start buying jute bags and keep till the season begins. The price shoots up during the season.

2. Travel to your source: if you have a particular place you want to buy from, try and visit the place before the season takes off, familarize yourself with the town, meet your suppliers and try to run a thorough background check on them discreetly.

3. If you have trustworthy suppliers, you may advance some fund to them, so you could get good buying rate at the beginning of the season. Most farmers need money to take care of their plantation between November and february, this period is a very crucial periiod for farmers especially those who don’t have money to run things. So they often look for people to advance money to them or they sell their plantation to investor at a very good rate.
If you are new to the business, pls do not give money in advance, its better you do “see and buy”

4. Link up with foreign buyers: you can start looking for export deals before the season.

5. Try and get at least 3 local buyers (exporters) of raw cashew nuts in Nigeria: if you will be selling locally, you need to have at least 3 good buyers of cashew nuts in Nigeria, most of these buyers are indian companies and are located in Lagos. Although there are also individual exporters who have export contracts to service, so you may need to start linking up with prospective buyers now. Visit their offices and tell them you intend to supply them when the season takes off.

6. Start calling your uncles, aunts in the village to enquire about cashew especially if you are from any of the producing states: a lot of youth sit down in Lagos doing nothing nowadays and they will be saying they are jobless, while there’s treasure in the villages they left behind. There’s an adage in yoruba language that says “igbe l’owo wa” (money is in the bush. Connect with them and let them know you have an interest.

7. Research: knowledge is power and nobody knows it all. Get online and do research on cashew nuts, learn from people who have knowledge about it. Read books, visit plantations, explore.

8. Start raising fund: capital is essential, if you have all d experience necessary and you don’t have fund to execute it, it may affect you. Raise enough fund for the business.

The cashew apple, also called cashew fruit, is the fleshy part of the cashew fruit that is attached to the cashew nut. The top end of the cashew apple is attached to the stem that comes off the tree. The bottom end of the cashew apple attaches to the cashew nut, which is encased in a shell. In botanical terms, the cashew apple is an accessory fruit that grows on the cashew seed (which is the nut).

The cashew apple is a soft fruit, rich in nutrients, and contains five times more vitamin C than an orange. It is eaten fresh, cooked in curries, or fermented into vinegar, as well as an alcoholic drink. It is also used to make preserves, chutneys, and jams in some countries such as India and Brazil. In many countries, particularly in South America, the cashew apple is used to flavor drinks, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic.

Cashew nuts are more popular than cashew apples in the many parts of the world that do not grow cashews, because the fruit, unlike the nut, is difficult to transport. Unlike cashew nuts, cashew apples are extremely soft and easily bruised in shipment. For this reason, cashew juice and cashew juice concentrate are often shipped to these nonlocal countries instead of the fresh fruit.

Cashew apples have a sweet but astringent taste. This astringency has been traced to the waxy layer on the skin that contains a chemical, urushiol, which can cause minor skin irritation to areas that have had contact with it. It is almost identical to the astringency caused by the skin of a mango, which also contains urushiol. The astringency from mango skin can be mildly tasted in the flesh of mango fruit, just as the astringency of cashew apple skin can be mildly tasted in the flesh of cashew apples. In cultures that consume cashew apples, this astringency is sometimes removed by steaming the fruit for five minutes before washing it in cold water; alternatively, boiling the fruit in salt water for five minutes or soaking it in gelatin solution also reduces the astringency.

In Goa, india, the cashew apple (the accessory fruit) is mashed and the juice extracted and kept for fermentation for a few days. Fermented juice then undergoes a double distillation process. The resulting beverage is called feni or fenny. Feni is about 40 – 42% alcohol. The single-distilled version is called urrac, which is about 15% alcohol.

In the southern region of Mtwara, Tanzania, the cashew apple (bibo in Swahili) is dried and saved. Later it is reconstituted with water and fermented, then distilled to make a strong liquor often referred to by the generic name, gongo.

In Mozambique, cashew farmers commonly make a strong liquor from the cashew apple, agua ardente (burning water).

According to one source, an alcohol had been distilled in the early 20th century from the juice of the fruit, and was manufactured in the West Indies.

Yes cashew trees and cashew fruits have its own diseases. But they can be easily controlled and managed by using pesticides. Most of these pesticides are available in the market or farmer’s stores.

Ogbomosho is the best place for cashew farming in Nigeria, ogbomosho produces the best quality of cashew nuts in Nigeria, same can be also be said for mango.
The land and soil is very good for cashew plantation.

See some cashew diseases, symptons, causes and how to manage them below.

Common Pests and Diseases of cashew.

Colletotrichum gloeosporoides

Water-soaked lesions on leaves, twigs, flowers or young apples which develop into orange-brown or red lesions;
Disease emergence favored by rainfall and high humidity
A protective coating of copper-based fungicide on susceptible parts of plant can prevent the disease; fungicide should be applied when buds begin to expand through to fruit set but are not required during dry periods.
Black mould
Pilgeriella anacardii

Chlorotic spots on upper surface of leaves which spread to lower surface as infection progresses; dark-brown to black fungal patches on leaves; leaves shrivelling and dropping from plant
Damage most severe on dwarf cashew varieties
Angular leaf spot
Septoria anacardii

Angular cream colored lesions with dark-brown margins on leaves of seedlings; angular black lesions with chlorotic halos on mature trees; defoliated seedlings
Some dwarf types of cashew are resistant to this disease; disease is widespread in cashew growing regions of Brazil
Currently no control measures are used
Helopeltis bugs
Helopeltis schoutedeni
Helopeltis anacardii

Deformed leaves with angular lesions along veins; leaves may drop from plant; elongated green lesions on young shoots which may exude gummy substance; dieback of shoots
Helopeltis bugs are slender with long legs and antennae; antennae twice as long as body; females are red; males brown; nymphs are yellowish in color
Monitor crop regularly for signs of damage; conserve populations of natural enemies, weaver ants can reduce populations; avoid interplanting cashew with other crops which are hosts for helopeltis bugs such as tea and cotton
Coconut bug
Pseudotheraptus wayi

Necrotic lesions on fruit which develop into hard lumps; pockmarks of fruit; spotting on kernels
Adults are red-brown in color; nymphs are red-brown to green in color
Conserve natural enemies by avoiding unnecessary applications of insecticides
Cashew weevil
Mecicorynus loripes

Brown-black gummy frass (insect excrement) on trunk and branches; girdling of branches; plants dying
Adults large and gray-brown with knobbly appearance; larvae legless grubs which are white with a brown head
Remove bark from infested areas and destroy any larvae or pupae found, this process should be repeated every month for up to six months; severely infested trees should be removed and destroyed; remove all adult weevils from tree prior to destruction and also remove bark and kill all larvae and pupae

Pests and Diseases of Cashew

Pests of Cashew:

Amongst various; pests- damaging cashew, the- major ones are Tea Mosquito, stem and Root Borer, Leaf Miner and Leaf and’ Blossom Webber.

Tea Mosquite(Helopaltis antonii)

Tea mosquito-is a major pest of cashew and causes more economic loss to the crop than the other pests. The adults and nymphs suck sap from tender shoots, leaves, floral branches, developing nuts and apples. The infested leaves crinckled and dry. Tea mosquito cause crop loss to the extent of 30 – 40%.

The pest can be controlled by spraying 0.05% Monocrotophos, 0.1% Carbaryl, 0.05% Endosulfan at the time of vegetative flush, the second at the time of pamicle emergence and the third at the time of fruit setting. Stem and Root Borer (Plocaederus ferrugincus).

This is a dreaded eney of cashew causing death of the affected tree. The incidence of the pest was about 10%.

For the control of stem and root borer early detection of incidence is very important. The earlier attack is defected the more are the chances of effective contorl. Dead trees and those which are beyond recovery should be removed from the plantation. The affected bark should be removed along with the grubs and then swabbing with Lindane solution is done. The treatment cutting trees at pophylactic treatment for stem and root borer.

Other Diseases of Cashew:

1. Die Back or Pink Disease

Disease is caused by Corticium salmonicolor: The affected branches initially, show white patches on the bark and a film of silky thread mycelium develops on the branches during monsoon. Later, me. fungus develop pinkish” growth. In due course, the bark splits and peels off and the affected shoots starts drying up from the tip.

This disease can be controlled by the pruning of the affected branches below the spot of infection and destroying them, protecting the cut surface by application of Bordeaux paste and spraying of Bordeaux mixture 1% twice in May – June before the onset of South West monsoon and the second in October.

2. Damping Off of Seedling:

Under conditions of poor drainage in the nursery, the disease occurs. It is caused due toPusariumsp,Pyihiumsp,Phyiophtora palmivora and Cylindrocladium scoparium.The fungi attack either on the root or the collar region or both of the seedlings.

It can be controlled by provision of adequate drainage in the nursery and drenching the beds/polybags with0.1 % Cersen, Bordeaux mixture 1%, Diathane – M-45 0.25% or Feltef 0.1%.
Cashew trees start producing from the 3rd or 4th year.
Cashew crop is seasonal and only comes out from february – may. Sometimes it comes out in january in some regions. And it also ends in june sometimes.
The crops come out at different times of the season, there’s what we call first crop, second crop and sometimes 3rd crop.
First crop usually comes out in january / february or march.
Second crop: mid march – april / may
3rd crop: may – june

Kindly provide feedback if this post is relevant or contact the admin for more info

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