In recent years, more and more people are eating cashew nuts. The reason: health experts and nutritionists considered it as “nature’s vitamin pill.”
In the Philippines, many farmers are reluctant to venture into tree farming because it does not provide them immediate returns, unlike the growing of agricultural crops. But in the long run, tree farming is more profitable since it means more money and conservation. Trees help conserve the land by minimizing excessive soil erosion and run-off. Wood products mean additional income to the farmer. In addition, a farmer doesn’t have to attend his trees all the time once they have grown up.
One tree that can be a good source of income for farmers and simultaneously help the environment is cashew (scientific name: Anacardium occidentale). The forestry department of the University of the Philippines at Los Banos (UPLB) puts it this way: “Planting cashew trees in idle lands may be the best solution to our land conservation problem. As an agricultural crop, cashew trees provide vegetative cover to barren lands and help minimize soil erosion. There is also money in cashew. Its fruit has varied uses and commands a good price in the market.”