This article is about Beginners Guide to Cashew Farming in Nigeria. Although, it can also serve as a guide for cashew farming globally. If Ivory Coast is exporting cashew and cashew nuts in high proportion, staying extremely relevant in this market and earning as much national income from it, then why is Nigeria not having almost the same share of the cashew revenue like Ivory Coast. Nigeria is one of the highest producers of cashew in the world.
However, it is rare to see any farmer in Nigeria go unpunished farming again. The supply is reducing drastically while the demand is increasing it won’t be shown. The few available cashew sold in local markets in Nigeria cannot sustain the people.
This is one perennial crop you can cultivate, then leave it to manage all factors why itself when it gets to a time. Later, it turns to a tree and supplies you with cashew fruit during its own seasons.
The thing about cashew is that you can start the planting today and the farm will be something your generations can profit on. I used to know a man that cultivated cashew at the back of his house and after he was late, his children took on the cashew farm and even established it better. That is what cashew farming looks like. It is a generational business which your children can continue without needing a lot of capital.
Nigeria still exports a lot of cashew nuts but not the case of years ago when they were giants in the market, ready to take on all the revenue of the cashew company.
Whether you are a farmer or an Agric investor, you can help to improve the value of Nigeria cashew international market. So, these are the real steps involved in building a successful cashew farm.
Basic Needs for Cashew Farming in Nigeria
Select Best Varieties of Seeds for Cashew Farming
There are several varieties of cashew. Choosing the right one is the issue because we all expect optimum returns later. We don’t want varieties that will reduce our yield. This is the reason we have to study some important factors about where and how we are starting our own cashew farm. Remember cashew farms are left for years and still keep growing, having a reduced yield all the time after the first is bad.
In the world of cashew, we know 4 varieties that can’t be pushed away and they are very effective. They are: Brazilian cashew, Chinese cashew, Hybrid cashew and Indian cashew. The hybrid cashew is that variety that is proven to be very effective in Nigeria. The return on investment on it is also very high at which it takes 3 years to attain maturity level and fruit production hence having a better positioning than others vatities in Nigeria.
Choose a suitable site for the Cashew Farming Business
You should go for a suitable site when planting any crop. Most perennial crops survive anywhere but they should be properly cared for at an early stage in their life. You can just look for a loamy soil with good drainage and make sure it is rich in humus content.
Also, you have to prepare your land for the planting seasons. Make sure your land is free of debris and bushes so that you can always navigate around the farm all the time. This is also the time to apply organic or farm yard manure to the soil in order to supplement the amount of nutrients that should be in the soil before planting.
Plant your cashew seeds
Cashew is mainly propagated by seeds but there are also other veegetative propagation that might be tested on cashew. Seeds are also simpler and easier to plant than others. So, you have to start by purchasing viable seeds from a reliable source and then you plant those as time goes on.
The only stressful part of planting cashew is that its planting starts from nursery. The seeds have to develop first and have the ability to withstand external pressure before turning. Prepare your beds, dig a hole of about 2-3 cm depth before finally choosing to insert 2-3 seeds in each hole. The seeds should be watered at least once or twice in a week.
After the seedlings have started to sprout out, you have to then transplant them to the normal land. They should have a spacing of about 8m x 5m to give 100 seedlings on a hectare.
Post Planting Activities for cashew farming
First, application of fertilizer is very important at intervals because it helps to stabilize the availability of adequate amounts of nutrients in the soil. During growing, flowering and fruiting periods, nitrogen, phosphorus and zinc fertilizers apply to the soil.
The next one is irrigation and amount of rain of the site. Most perennial crops can survive in their own but you have try and apply water at least once every 4-7 days. It boost growth and development of tissues. Also, the area should have at least a minimum of 600 cm amount of rainfall yearly.
Pest and disease can leverage on your cashew to grow. Although planting viable seeds and the right variety seems to be eliminating pests and diseases. If you ever notice them, use the appropriate amount of pesticides and herbicides to keep them out.
Harvesting the cashew
Finally, you can now harvest your fruit after the first 3 years of planting. This fruiting will continue to go on every year. If maintained well, it can take up to 20 years for you to generate optimum yield from your cashew. After plucking the fruits from the seeds, use a knife to separate the nuts from the apple. Then dry the nuts, store and sell. While the profit can be taken to the local market to sell as well.