PERFORMANCE OF AREA, PRODUCTION AND PRODUCTIVITY OF CASHEW IN INDIA AND KERALA IN THE GLOBALISED SCENARIO
Cashew industry is a prominent agro based, export oriented and traditional industry which provides employment and income for the economic development of Kerala. There are lakhs of workers engaged in the cashew processing industry; about ninety four percent are women workers. The performance of cashew in the international scenario reveals the position with which the cashew holds among the agricultural commodities. India is the first country which commercialized cashew as a horticultural crop. India’s raw nut production is not sufficient to sustain the processing capacity established in the country. The low yielding cashew plants of senile and non-descript origin need to be replaced with cashew grafts of high yielding varieties along with adoption of improved production technologies. Higher productivity as well as production is the urgent need for all the major producers of cashew across the globe. The scrutiny of cashew productivity data in India over the last few years indicated stagnation and there was a wide gap existing between the actual and potential yields. It is essential that India should keep pace and meet the requirement of raw cashew nuts for cashew processing industries and achieve self sufficiency. The present paper examines the performance of cashew sector in terms of area, production and productivity in India and Kerala.