The cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) is a tropical evergreen tree that produces the cashew seed (nut) and the cashew apple. It can grow as high as 14 m (46 ft), but the dwarf cashew, growing up to 6 m (20 ft), has proved more profitable, with earlier maturity and higher yields.  The species is originally native to northeastern Brazil. Portuguese colonists in Brazil began exporting cashew nuts as early as the 1550s.Major production of cashews introduced to Goa and coastal areas of Sri Lanka in 1550 



Altitude (m)                                                                      -         0-600


Rainfall (mm / year)                                                         -          800-1500

Extent of dry season (months / year)                                     -          4-6

Mean Annual Temperature (oC) of Air                                   -          24-28

Mean Annual Temperature min.and max. (oC)                       -          14-38

Sunshine (hrs / year)                                                          -         1500-2000

Cloud Cover (tenths)                                                                 -          3-4

Relative Humidity (%)                                                              -          65-80

Wind Speed (km / hr)                                                                -          2-25


Type                                                                                          -         Loose Sandy

Soil Depth (m)                                                                          -        Over 1.5

Skeleton                                                                                    -         Little or None

Structure                                                                                   -         Fully developed

Texture                                                                                      -        Sandy (clay <10%)

                                                                                                            Sandy Loam (clay 10 -20%)

                                                                                                            Sandy Clay Loam (clay 20-30%)

Permeability                                                                              -         High

P.H                                                                                             -        4.5 -6.5

Inside Drainage                                                                          -        Normal or quick

Root System of Cashew

A simple fragile tap root in the first phase of growth of the young plant, the cashew root system then takes on a more complex structure putting out strong and extensive root both sideways and downwards.

Considering the root growth of cashew trees, the soil depth (soil profile), the water drainage condition of soil and the visible organic malter content of soil are investigated as the beginning of the study.

  1. A. Velanai Island

On 16.01.2018, inspected Velanai Island and the village called Punkuduthive and observed that few cashew plants are successfully grown under good agricultural condition Soil depth is also suitable foe cashew cultivation. However, the land area is limited for the people who live there, and suitable Lands are not available for large scale commercial plantations.


  • The area is not suitable for the large scale cultivation, but plants could be cultivated as Home Gardening basis depending on the availability of land (1-10 plants) / house hold – The plants should be manured with organic fertilizer \.
  • CHARTY Tourist Resort area of Velanai is also suitable for cashew cultivation as Home gardening basis.
  • Planting should be done on strictly with onset Maha rains due to water scarcity.
  • Plants should be properly covered to protect from the stray animals.


Framers are somewhat reluctant to cashew cultivation thinking that it may affect the drinking water table as Good drinking water is available only in this area.

  1. B. Delft

 The soil depth is not enough to cultivate cashew successfully in the island. Limestone deposits are the main constraint in this Island, where the deposit stone/corals deposit are spread at the depth of 1 Ft - 10 Ft varying the thickness.


  • The coastal belt area of Delft Island is favourable for the cultivation and could be grown as coastal conservation purposes. Some residential areas along with coastal line are recommended to cultivate as Home Gardening.
  • The planting should be 3’ * 3’ * 3’ with adding full of organic matter.
  • Planting should be done strictly with the onset of rains due to water scarcity.
  • Plants should be properly covered to protect from stray animals due to plenty of stray goats are visible in this island.
  1. C. Kayts

The lands belongs to state are water logged and high content of clay. High clay soils porch water drainage is not suitable for cashew cultivation.


The village called”Puliyunkoodal” is a farming area where most of the farmers are cultivating Tobacco and Chillie.

  • The soil is suitable for cashew cultivation and recommended to cultivate as Home Gardening basis Water resources are good in this village.
  • Standard size of holing and standard level of fertilizing is recommended.
  1. D. Other Island in Kayts D.S.
  1. Eluvathivu

Small island, more than 75% covered by Palmyrah. Most of the area the top 3 feet of the soil covered

With stone layers. During drought, the salinity level increase drastically.


Cannot be recommended for cashew even at home garden level.

  1. Analaitivu

Hard and clay soil and heavy stone layer at 3 feet depth. Mainly chillie and tobacco are being cultivated.


Cannot be recommended for cashew even at home garden level.

  1. E. Karainagar D.S.

Most of area consist with stones layer at 3 feet depth. Some areas could be observed the stone layer layes at 5-6 feet.


In small area where having the stone layer 5-6 feet, can be recommended for bud cashew with 3’* 3’* 3’ holding size and with intensive. Home garden level planting is mostly preferred.


Divi. S. officials are expected to select the farmers and inform the number of plants required the latest by the end of March 2018 Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation will provide the plants required and farmer training as already done in Mulathivu  and Jaffna districts in the year 2017. Plants transportation by sea will have to be arranged by the respective Divi . S. Officials.


Commercial plantation of cashew cannot be recommended in any parts of the islands..

 Velanai Island

Only the Home Gardening Programme is recommended.


Only the coastal belt can be recommended to cultivate cashew as a Coastal Conservation Programme.


Only the Home Gardening Programme is recommended.

Other lands in Kayts

Eluvathivu     -   Not recommended

Analaithivu    -   Not recommended

Karainagar     -   Only the Home Gardening Programme is recommended in a very limited area.