IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


28th November, 2023 Economy


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Picture Courtesy: www.hindustantimes.com

Context: India aims to reclaim its top spot in cashew nut exports by tasking the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Development Authority (APEDA) to strategize cashew cultivation expansion and global market integration.

Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)

●It is an apex body established by the Government of India to promote the export of agricultural and processed food products from India.

●APEDA operates under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and was established by the APEDA Act in 1985.

The main objectives of APEDA are:

●It is responsible for promoting the development of industries involved in the export of scheduled products.

●It establishes and operates quality control and inspection services to ensure the quality of agricultural and processed food products for export. It also provides certification of such products.

●It works to identify and tap new markets for Indian agricultural and processed food products. It also undertakes measures to promote these products in international markets.

●It is involved in research and development activities related to the export sector. It aims to improve the quality of products and enhance their competitiveness in the global market.

●It conducts training programs and educational initiatives to enhance the skills and knowledge of individuals engaged in the export of agricultural and processed food products.

●It serves as an information hub for exporters, providing them with relevant market intelligence, trade data, and other essential information.

●It has regulatory functions, and it formulates and enforces standards for the export of scheduled products.


  • India's focus on expanding its cashew exports to new geographies such as Japan, the European Union, South Korea, Taiwan, and Australia is a strategic move to diversify its market reach. This development, coupled with the government's target of a 10% increase in exports for the current financial year, reflects the commitment to boosting the cashew industry.
  • Cashews, being rich in unsaturated fats, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, and iron, are not only key ingredients in various recipes but also offer nutritional benefits. The emphasis on the nutritional aspects, including fibre, antioxidants, and protein content, adds value to the promotion of cashew products in both domestic and international markets.

India’s cashew industry

  • India's cashew production has shown a growth trend, reaching 0.77 million tonnes in 2021-22 from 0.70 million tonnes in 2019-20.
  • Cashew cultivation is prominent in coastal regions and states like Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Odisha, West Bengal, and parts of the North-Eastern region.

Export Trends

  • India is one of the largest exporters, accounting for over 15% of the world's cashew exports. In 2022, Ivory Coast ranked the highest in cashew nut production with 870,740 tonnes followed by India and Vietnam.
  • There's been consistent growth in both value and volume of cashew exports, with US$ 452 million worth of exports in 2021-22 and a volume of 76.8 million kg during the same period.
  • Importing raw cashew nuts plays a significant role in meeting almost half of India's domestic and export demands for cashew kernels.

Export Destinations

  • India exports cashews to over 60 countries, with major destinations including UAE, Japan, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, USA, UK, Canada, France, Israel, and Italy.
  • UAE stands out as the largest importer, followed by Japan and the Netherlands. Vietnam has also shown consistent growth in imports from India.

Government Initiatives

  • The government has undertaken initiatives such as reducing duties and taxes on raw cashew nuts, revising import policies, and approving schemes for mechanization and automation of cashew processing units.
  • Steps have been taken to allow duty-free imports of raw cashew nuts from least developed countries (LDCs) and provide financial assistance to the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) for various promotional activities.
  • CEPCI was set up in 1955 to promote cashew kernels and cashew nut shell liquid in India. It provides trade information, statistics, and financial assistance through government schemes to its member exporters.


  • India's cashew industry's growth is facilitated by a combination of increased production, strategic export policies, and support from government bodies like the CEPCI. This sector not only contributes significantly to India's economy but also drives employment opportunities in cashew-growing regions.

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Q. India is one of the leading producers of cashew nuts globally, renowned for its quality and quantity of production. The geographical and climatic conditions play a crucial role in the success of cashew cultivation in the country. The ideal climate for cashew cultivation includes:

A. High humidity and heavy rainfall

B. Cool temperatures and snowfall

C. Tropical conditions with well-distributed rainfall

D. Arid conditions with minimal rainfall

Answer: C


Cashew trees thrive in tropical climates with well-distributed rainfall.

Cashew trees are native to tropical regions of South America and thrive in climates with warm temperatures, high humidity, and well-distributed rainfall. They require an average temperature of 16-25°C (61-77°F) and a rainfall of 50-400 cm (20-160 inches) per year. Cashew trees can tolerate some drought, but they are most productive in areas with regular rainfall.

Some of the specific climate requirements for cashew trees:

●They are most productive in areas with an average temperature of 20-25°C (68-77°F). They can tolerate temperatures as low as 10°C (50°F) and as high as 40°C (104°F), but their growth and yield will be reduced at these extremes.

●They require a well-distributed rainfall of 50-400 cm (20-160 inches) per year. They are most productive in areas with a rainy season of 6-8 months. Rainfall should be evenly distributed throughout the year, as dry spells can stress the trees and reduce their yield.

●They prefer a humid environment with a relative humidity of 60-80%. High humidity helps to prevent the trees from drying out and also promotes the growth of the fungi that are associated with their roots.

●They can grow in a variety of soil types, but they prefer well-drained, sandy loam soils with a pH of 5.5-6.5. The soil should be deep and fertile, as cashew trees have a deep root system.