How to Grow Cashew, Part 3 Health Management & By-Products

Crop Protection

Among the major pests of cashew are:

1. Twig Borer (Niphonoclea alba-ta N. /N. capito P.) This insect pest are common during the dry season. The adult beetle girdles the small branches causing them to dry up or break and drop to the ground. Its creamish larvae bore into the pith of the branches. As they feed, they move downward until they pupate. All affected twigs and small branches may eventually die.

Control Measure: Remove or collect all affected twig as well as dried twigs on the ground. Dispose them properly by burning before applying chemical sprays. In using spray chemicals, mix 3-5 tbsp of Malathion, Carbaryl and/or Methyl Parathion per 5 gallons of water. Repeat application at 7-10 days interval when necessary.

2. Mealybugs (Gray Mealybugs – F. vigata) and Thrips (Red-banded thrips – Selen othrips rubrocintus Glard) . These pests sucks the sap of young leaves and shoots. When severe infestation occurs, the tree is weak-ened and the leaves and fruit may fall prematurely.

Control Measures: Spray trees with any insecticide commonly available at manufacturer’s recom-mended dosage when there are signs of early infestation.

3. Leaf Miner (Acrocercops syn-gramma M.) – Young plants in the nursery and in the orchard are more affected by these pests. Caterpillars of this silvery gray moth mine through the tender leaves, thus, severely damaging them.

Control Measures: Spray 0.05% Phosphamidon at manufacturer’s recommended dosage as soon as infestation is detected on new leaves.

4. Tea Mosquito (Helopeltis Antonil S.) – A reddish-brown mirid bug which normally appears at the time of emergence of new growth and panicles. Nymphs and adults suck the sap from tender nuts.

Control Measures: Spray Malathi-on, Phosphamidon and/or Endo-sulfan at emergence of new growth and inflourescence. A third spray may be done at the time of fruit setting to reduce immature fruit drops.

5. Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle (Cryzaephillus surinamensis L.) – This pest is known to attack the nuts during storage.

Control Measures: Nuts should be thoroughly dried and placed in air tight containers. Surface treatment is recommended. For finished products, fumigation is recommended.

6. Slug Caterpillar (Lamantridae spp.) – The caterpillar feeds on the leaves causing semi-defoliation.

7. Termite – Termites attack the roots and the trunk of cashew trees. They burrow on the bark of roots and branches especially of old trees. They build their soil mounds or nest on dead parts of the tree.

Control Measures: Soil mounds must be destroyed to locate the queen termite. The queen should be killed either mechanically or by spraying with 2% Chlordane. Chlordane should not be applied on living parts of the tree because of its long residual effect. Cistin powder could be applied to any part of the tree infested with ter-mites at the rate recommended by the manufacturer.

Control of Diseases

The major diseases of cashew are as follows:

1. Dieback or Pink Disease – This disease is caused by fungus Corticium salmonicolor B. that usually occurs during the rainy season. Affected shoots initially show white patches on the bark; a film of silky thread or mycelium develops. Later, the fungus develops a pinkish growth which are the spores that make the bark split and peel off. Affected shoots start drying up from the tip.

Control Measures: All possible sources of innoculum should be removed. Affected shoots are pruned and burned. Cut surfaces must be protected by applying Bordeaux moisture paste. The tree should also be sprayed with fungicide at manufacturer’s recommended dos-age.

2. Anthracnose – This disease is cause by fungus Collectorichum gloeospoides that usually infect tender leaves, shoots, inflourescences, young fruits (apples) and young nuts. This disease is most prevalent when there is excessive rainfall coinciding with the appearance of new growth and flowering. Infected parts in its early stage show shiny, watersoaked lesions which later turn reddish-brown. At the lesion site, resinous exudation can be seen. As the disease pro-gresses, the lesions enlarge in size, all affected tender leaves wrinkle, and the young apples and nuts become shrivelled. Inflorescences become black.

Control Measures: Remove all infected parts (source of innoculum) before spraying the tree with fungicide at manufacturer’s recommended dosage of application.

3. Damping-off – This disease is caused by fungus Fusarium. This disease normally occurs in the nursery and effects cashew seedlings especially when the soil medium gets too wet.

Control Measures: Seeds for planting should be treated with Arasan 75 at the rate of 1/4 tsp per ganta of seeds before sowing. Soil media for potting should be treated with soil fumingants.

Cashew By-Products

Shell oil represents about a quarter of the mass of an unshelled nut and approximately equal to that of the kernel. This fluid, that is not an oil as the term “shell oil” indicates, but a mixture of anacardic acid and cardol is the main by-product.

There are more than 200 registered patents of different uses of shell oil. One of the most important uses is in the manufacture of brake linings. Shell oil is used in the manufacture of numerous materials that have to be resistant to heat, friction, acids and caustic products, for example clutch plates, special isolators, varnish and plastic materials. The wood is insect repellent and used in making book cases and packing crates. The gum is a replacement for gum arabic and used as insect repellent glue in book bindings. In the nut and the apple, a compound has been found that combats tooth decay.

The apple is highly perishable but very healthy. It can be eaten fresh or juiced. Syrup, wine, brandy, gin, preserved fruit, pickles and glazed fruit are also made from the cashew apple. In Brazil, fresh cashew-apples are packed in trays and marketed in retail fresh produce outlets.

The indigenous people in cashew-producing regions use different parts of the plant such as the leaves, bark, gum, wood, juice and roots for the preparation of local medicines or insect-repellent mixtures. The bark is rich in tannins and is used in leather tanning. The papery seed coat around the kernel can serve as cattle feed.

Uses of Cashews

The biggest use of cashews is as a snack. But many innovative food companies are discovering the versatility and exotic value of cashews as an ingredient.

  • A premium snack : Natural, roasted, salted, honey, chocolate, yogurt or spice-coated.
  • A distinctive garnish : Cashew Splits are embedded in pastry and many oriental sweets.
  • The nutty ingredient in Ice-creams and Chocolates : The soft-nut texture and enhanced flavor of dry-roasted cashews is unmistakable.
  • Toppings Galore : On its own, Coated or mixed in with other granules, Granulated dry roasted cashews add value to many products.
  • Cashew Flour and Paste are used in many Asian sweets, gravies and fancy

Cashews particularly are a natural source of folate, phytosterols, magnesium, potassium, selenium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese & pantothenic acid (Vitamin B-5), amino acids such as lysine, tryptophan, threonine, leneine, isolencine and valine.


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