HOW TO START CASHEW FARMING TODAY

In 2017, Nigeria took the 6th place in cashew nut production in the world, according to Legit.

Nigerians make fortunes on cashew export every year.

However, to be successful in this, you really need to understand how the industry works.

Cashew fruits

Efforts made for the purpose of improving the cultivation results of cashew has shown its importance for the economy. Hence its popularity among farmers.

Because of the high nutritional value of this product, the demand for cashew currently outweighs the supply.

So this is good news for investors and for those who want to engage in the cultivation of cashew in Nigeria.

Currently, Nigeria cannot meet the requirements of exports, however, cashew nuts have contributed significantly to the growth of the total income of Nigeria.

It is necessary to keep in mind that starting a cashew business in Nigeria requires proper knowledge.

The value chain of the cashew attracts many participants, and this implies great opportunities for investment

For a good start, it is important to obtain guidance from the correct sources. The Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) located in Ibadan can be a place to start.

This will help you to significantly reduce the chances of failure in your intended business.

In this respect, CRIN has conducted a lot of researches, and thus using the results of these research will be the right move for you.

An important aspect of studying researches conducted by CRIN is that you will learn the sources of demand (both domestic and foreign), which greatly facilitates the export of cashew nuts.

Planting

Planting cashew

Carefully select your seeds before planting them – choose those that sink in water and plant them in an upright position into a special bag with light sterilized soil mixture.

You can plant 3-4 seeds into one planting hole. The weakest seeds should be removed while the sturdiest are left to grow.

Cultivation of cashews requires warm, humid climate with 600 mm of rainfall minimum, but more importantly a well-distributed rainfall.

Cashew thrives at a wide range of temperatures starting from 15 to 40 degrees Celsius.

Cashew is considered to be a strong plant and can grow in soils, especially in sandy ones which are generally unsuitable for other fruit trees and plants.

For best outcome of production, it is recommended to use a deep-freeze sandy soil or sandy-loamy soil.

Cashew can be reproduced using seeds or vegetative methods such as grafting, budding, and layering. However, vegetative reproduction planting material is required to obtain higher and earlier yield.

It is recommended that you plant cashew at a distance of 8 m x 5 m, which will give the plant a density of 200 trees per hectare and at the same time, will provide sufficient space for planting crops in the first years of their existence.

The seedlings are quite vulnerable and can suffer from Phytophthora root rot. The plant bags should have the depth of 350 to 400 mm since tap-roots develop quickly and bend around as soon as they reach the bottom.

Cashew seedlings should be grown in the 45% shade and hardened off prior to planting them out in the garden.

Make sure you don’t disturb the root system while you’re planting. Support the young trees during the first 2 to 3 years to prevent them from being blown with the violent wind.

Follow the 8 x 5 m planting distance.

The young trees will grow very fast in the first 3 years, so when their crowns touch each other, some trees should be removed to reach the permanent planting distance of 10 to 12 m.

Remove the hanging branches in order to stop them from interfering with the harvest process.

You can enhance the growth of cashew trees via clonal orchards, fertilizing, and irrigation.

Machinery And Equipment

Cashew machinery

This is an approximate list of machinery and equipment employed in cashew production:

Power saw
Pruning saw
Motor mist blowers/sprayer pumps
Jembes
Slashers

Cashews can be stored in for 12 months or more on the condition that they are dried, the content of moisture should be no more than eight percent, and they’re packed in sealed plastic bags.

See also SUPPORTING FARMERS ON WORLD DAY

Irrigation

Irrigation is essential when young trees gain height. Since the root system is quite deep, the trees can last for months without being watered. Each adult tree must get 1,800l of water every 14 days.

Processing

The aim of cashew processing is to get the sound delicious kernel from shelled nuts.

Most present-day factories aim to receive the maximum number of nuts and the maximum amount of shell oil.

Processing is normally realized in a number of stages.

Four High – Demand Products Made Out Of Cashew

When growing cashew, you can earn on several different foods at once:

Cashew Apple or False Fruit: It is a great product that you can dry, can, eat fresh, or squeeze for juice.

The juice can be further fermented into cashew wine (it’s really loved in the Western Africa).

Cashew Apples are used to make jams, and different beverages (both soft and hard).

Cashew Wine: It is produced in a lot of Asian countries, as well as in Latin America. It is a yellowish hard drink with 6-12% alcohol content.

cashew wine

Cashew nut kernel: It can be eaten in three different ways; fresh; roasted & salted; and as an ingredient in confectionery and pastry.

Cashew nut kernel

Cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL): It is an indispensable raw material (used for phenolic resins and friction powder in automotive industry; in moldings, acid-resistant paints, foundry resins, polishes, enamels and black lacquers for embellishing crockery, and as insecticides and fungicides.

Cashew nut shell fluid

Sales

Export market: India and Singapore are main buyers of cashew nut produced in Nigeria. What’s left goes to Europe.

Export price: The free on board (fob) export price of raw cashew nut is approximately ₦178,208.00/MT. However, if processed into kernels, the fob price could be four times higher!

Local price: The local price of unprocessed cashew nuts delivered in Lagos starts from ₦70,000.00 in the peak season and reaches about ₦120,000.00 when the season is over.

Expenses

The cost of starting up a one-acre cashew farm in the 4.5m x 4.5m area (the equipment is not included in the list, since different cashew products require different machinery). This is according to legit.com.

Purchase of land – ₦70,000 (don’t lease the land, pay for it at once)
Land clearing – ₦20,000
Double ploughing – ₦6000
Purchasing of processed hybrid seed ₦100 each – ₦13,200
Planting and pegging – ₦30,000
Triple weeding – ₦45,000
Watering – ₦120,000
Total – ₦304,200

According to research, a cashew farmer can make a whopping 8 million naira per year on just an acre of land of cashew trees.

Only what you need is to be patient with time. Because your patience will surely be rewarded.

Henceforth, let’s not allow the vast land in our villages waste in vain.

Let’s make the sacrifice of planting some cashew tree on them now as it will not be bad to go home for a month and come back with some millions.

Compiled by NNATE Florence Nkechi

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