Most people believe that raw cashew can be easily ingested. On the contrary, cashew has to be processed to make them edible. Once processed, they are used in multiple products and key ingredients in rich traditional sweets. A favourite among dry fruits, many prefer salted cashew nuts, while others prefer to relish it when used in traditional sweets. The Kaju (cashew) barfi is very popular during festive and other celebratory occasions. Cashews are also used in cooking biryanis, an assortment of curries and various other cuisines. They are high in nutritional value and are enriched with Vitamins K, B6, zinc, magnesium phosphorus, and manganese. This protein-rich crop boosts the body's energy levels and prevents you from developing hunger pangs.
The cashew nut business in India can be very rewarding if you can process them efficiently while retaining their quality and nutritional value.
Did you know?
Cashew nut was introduced by the Portuguese in India around 1560-1565 to serve as a crop for the conservation of soil.
Also Read: How to Start Spice Export Business in India?
How to Set Up a Cashew Business in India
Though it was brought by the Portuguese, today India is the largest producer, processor and exporter of cashew nuts worldwide. Let us understand all the requirements of establishing this agro-based product.
A Strategic Business Plan
Cashew nut business can be highly rewarding. It requires you to be familiar with how the product is cultivated, processed, and manufactured. At the onset, you will have to decide your year 2 to 5 goals and whether you are keener on domestic supply or expand and export later. From the machinery to the storage facilities, you have to have a complete sense of the various aspects to help churn quality cashews sold at attractive prices. Your plan must include quality checks, the labour force you will employ, and a healthy stream of available finances to ensure nothing hinders the growth of your business. The Kaju business in India is a very labour-intensive industry. You will have to ensure your labour is well looked after so that no one stays away from work. Disgruntled labour can result in strikes which will impact your business tremendously. You will also have to ensure that you are well-stocked with all the necessary raw materials or face supply and delivery challenges. Your machinery should be well-maintained at all times. Timely servicing of the entire machinery and good equipment maintenance is a must.
Licences and Registration Requirements
To set up a cashew business in India, you have to first acquire various licences and registrations from the concerned authorities in the government. Some of these include
- Business registration – The first step is to register your organisation. You may be the sole owner or operate the business with a partner. In the first case, you will have to register your organisation as a One Person Company and as a Private Limited or a Limited Liability Partnership with the Registrars of Companies.
- Trade Licence – You will have to acquire a trade licence. The Municipal authority furnishes this.
- GST Registration – This is a must-do application.
If you wish to take some aid in the form of a subsidy and technology support from the government, you can apply to the Udyog Aadhaar Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises. It will provide many benefits like:
- Exemptions from excise and under direct tax laws.
- Better chances of receiving subsidies and loans.
- Better access to credit guarantee schemes.
- Monetary aid to participate in Foreign Expos.
- Agmark certificate – This affirms that the quality of all the agro-based products in India are in accordance with the prescribed standards laid down by the specific authorities.
- Food Safety and Standards Authority of India Registration.
- Registration of your brand
Investments Required for the Cashew Nut Processing Unit
This depends on various factors like the area of the premises, the location, availability of ample sunshine (required for cashew nuts), availability of affordable labour and transport facilities.
Equipment and Machinery
- Peeling machine – the preferred choice is semi-automated.
- A machine to separate the cashew pieces.
- A good set of quality weighing scales.
- A sturdy hot oven.
- A winnowing machine to separate the grain from the chaff.
- A cutting machine – preferably a hand-operated one.
- A steam pipeline.
- One quality steam boiler.
- A variety of cooking vessels, bowls, etc.
- A diesel Genset.
Once processed, cashews need to be packaged in airtight containers. It will involve special packaging facilities, which you will require to maintain the freshness of this nutrient crop.
Key aspects of Cashew Nut Processing
Some of the primary aspects involved in processing cashews are as follows:
- Drying and Packaging - The cashews have to be dried in hot sunshine. Once dried completely, you have to pack them in jute bags.
- Steaming - Steam the cashews while they are inside their natural shell. Once the shell becomes soft, you will separate the cashews with ease.
- Splitting and Removal of the Cashew - Split open the shell length-wise, i.e. from east to west. It makes it easy to remove the cashew manually.
- Oven-Drying - Dry the kernels in an oven on a low flame for a few hours. It impacts the skin, which becomes loose. You can now peel the skin quickly
- Drying in a Cabinet Dryer - The kernels dried in the oven are now put to dry in a cabinet dryer. To obtain the cashew nut, you now have to remove the exterior skin, which is of a red colour (testa).
Costs Involved in Setting up the Cashew Nut Processing Business
A small scale cashew nut processing machine price in India would involve the following costs:
Types of Expense
₹ 60.15 lakhs
₹ 2-3 lakhs
₹ 3 lakhs
Construction and Building
₹ 50 lakhs
₹ 1 lakh
₹ 5 lakhs
Though cashew is not native to India and was brought by foreigners, the crop adapted well to India’s climatic conditions. Though introduced first in Goa by the Portuguese, it was cultivated and flourished across many other Indian states. Today, cashew is cultivated across almost 1 million hectares of Indian soil, making the cashew nut processing business a very flourishing industry.
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