By Sotonye Anga NATIONAL PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER, NATIONAL CASHEW ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA Email:[email protected] Nigeria’s annual production volume of cashew currently stands at 120,000 metric tonnes of just the raw nuts. However, considering the renewed interest of The Federal Government of Nigeria on the sector this volume will more than triple in coming years. • • • • • • • Cashew is a tree crop. With evergreen leaves, all year round. It takes about 3-4 years from planting before bearing fruits. Thereafter the tree can live 40 years and more. It was initially grown in Nigeria to control erosion. Today it is an economic tree in Nigeria. Cashew nuts are harvested from the cashew tree, a single nut is attached to a cashew apple. Cashew nut kernel ; edible oil, roasted and eaten as nuts Shell ; production of cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) used in making corrosion resistant vanishes, waterproof paint etc. Cashew apple ; fruit drink & juice Tree ; canopy / shade Roots ; erosion control & tropical medicine Cashew trees have very extensive root system which enables it to tolerate a wide range of moisture levels and soil types. However, commercial production/planting of cashew is advisable only in well-drained, sandy loam or red soils. Trees are first line of defence against desertification and erosion. It is an economic tree and so will contribute to economic development. A source of nourishment. Beautify the environment.