Embrapa Tropical Agroindustry (http://www.cnpat.embrapa.br/cnpat/) headquartered in Fortaleza/Ceará originated from the National Research Centre for Cashew created in 1987, to meet the demands of cashew agribusiness in Brazil. With large experimental fields and laboratories, the company is a reference in know-how, research, technology and innovation for sustainable development of cashew production and processing, as well as the development of cashew by products and residues. Its cashew value addition activities include improvement of production processes, certification of traditional products and obtaining a geographical indication labels.
Among its key achievements, Embrapa Tropical Agroindustry accounts for the development of several technologies for improved cashew cultivation and processing. The company developed higher-yielding clones of dwarf and common cashew trees resistant to diseases and producing better quality cashew nuts and apples. Modern propagation techniques, crop management and pest and diseases control methods developed for rain fed cashew resulted in yields increases above 1200 kg/ha and a better use of the cashew nut and apple. The clones of dwarf cashew launched by Embrapa cover now 15% of the cultivated area and account for 24% of cashew production in Ceará state.
The company developed also the Agro Industrial Multiple Cashew Nut Processing Module in a mini-factory system. The module allowed for the insertion of small and medium cashew producers in agribusiness (through associations and cooperatives) and the production of a higher rate of whole white cashew nuts with improved quality. Forty cashew mini-factories have been implemented and revitalized in the Brazilian Northeast region until 2010, with a total processing capacity of 8,000 tons of cashew per year.
Active in technology transfer in cashew cultivation and the processing, the company participated in several technical assistance projects including:
- Development of cashew production in Haiti in partnership with the United Nations Development Program, the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency
- Training in modern techniques of cashew nut production in Suriname and Guyana in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (PNUD) and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency
- Mozambique Cashew Processing program, in partnership with the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the Japan International Cooperation Agency
- “Restructuring cashew cultivation in Guinea Bissau” program in partnership with the World Bank, the Brazilian Cooperation Agency and the Guinean Foundation for Enterprise Industrial Development (FUNDEI)
EMBRAPA published books and technical bulletins on various topics related to cashew sector (see http://www.cnpat.embrapa.br), for instance:
Books: “Cashews - 500 Questions and 500 Answers” and “Cashew Agribusiness: Practices and Innovations”
Technical Bulletins: “Volatile flavour compounds from pseudo fruits of the dwarf cashew
(Anacardium occidentale L.)”; “Harvest and postharvest of the dwarf cashew nut in the integrated production of fruits”; “Irrigation management in the integrated production of dwarf cashew”; “Weed control in cashew orchards”
Publications: “Cultivation of dwarf cashew: fertilization and irrigation”; “Monitoring of diseases in cashew crops”; “Monitoring of pests in cashew crops”; “Epidemiology of black mold in cashew production”; “Production of dwarf cashew nut under different water regimes”; “Good practices in the processing of cashew nuts”; “Cajuína: how to produce with quality”; “Cashew clones: breeding, characteristics and prospects”; “Genetic cashew resources: collection, conservation, characterization and utilization”; “Classification and selection of raw cashew materials: vital activities to advance the competitiveness of the Brazilian cashew nut productive chain”.
The 540 pages book “Cashew Agribusiness: Practices and Innovations” published this autumn outlines the state of the art in cashew agribusiness, covering all activities from production through the supply of products to consumers (see book presentation at http://www.todafruta.com.br/noticia/28878/CE%3A+EMBRAPA+AGROIND%DASTRIA+TROPICAL+LAN%C7A+LIVRO+SOBRE+O+AGRONEG%D3CIO+CAJU).
The Portuguese edition of the book prices US$ 67 (Agronegócio Caju: práticas e inovações, 1ª Edição, ISBN 978-85-7035-169-2) can be acquired at Embrapa bookstore http://vendasliv.sct.embrapa.br/