Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation

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Research Division


Be the cashew leader technology improvement.



Develop the technology for cultivation and processing of cashew and cashew allied farm products.



1. Develop high yielding, drought/disease resistance and minimal chemical fertilizer, pesticide               consuming verities of cashew, wichh meet plantation needs.

2. Improve Agronomic and high husbandary practices, consistant with conservation of the                     enivirnment, to increase returns of farmers.

3. Improve productivity and value addition in post harvest processing and packaging to suit customer     needs.


Research and Development

The Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation in collaboration with the Faculty of Agriculture and Plantation Management of the Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, has developed 06 new Hybrid varieties of cashew.


01. 1. Development of improved varieties and quality planting materials.

Six promising accessions namely.

WUCC – 5, 8, 9,13,19,21 were identified and released to far……

02. Improvement of agro techniques and plant protection methods.

Recommendations have been introduced as follows.

a) How varietal difference and seed size influence on seedling vigour

b) How environmental conditions affect survival and growth rate of softwood grafts.

c) Efficient nursery practices for cashew grafting.

d) Variability in a seedling population and its influence on productivity

e) Time of transplanting.

f) Detail studies on Helopeltis and its control through Red Ants and chemicals.

g) Stem Borer management studies and its control.

h) Control and management of common cashew diseases.

i) Development of a protocol for propagation of cashew through tissue culture.

03. Efficient use of fertilizer and relined inputs.

a) Effect of different soil types on growth of cashew.

b) Suitable nursery media and fertilizer management in cashew nurseries.

c) Detail recommendation on fertilizer application.

d) Research on soil properties of Eluwankulama mother plant garden.

04. On-going Research trials.

a) Performances of seedling plants and bud- grafted plants with the same treatments in two locations.

b) Possibility of producing planting material by patch budding.

c) Research to find-out suitable canopy height to collect maximum scions.

05. Publications

a) A book on cashew cultivation and Techniques.

b) Summarized form of above book in Tamil.

c) Recent Advances in Cashew Research.

d) Cashew Bulletin (in Sinhala and English)

e) Research and conference papers.

f) Three M.Phil thesis.

06. Pest control programme

Demonstration on Helopeltis antornni control system.

07. Research station

Kamandaluwa Research Station – Andigama Puttalam


Paper Presented at International Conference on sustainable Cashew PRODUCTION - Challenge and Opportunities 11-12- Octomber -2012 Panjim-Goa-India


Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean separated from the Indian Sub Continent by Palk Strait. History of Sri Lanka earlier known as “Ceylon” is more than 2500 years old. Population is almost 22 Mn., Literacy rate-92%, Life expectancy-74 years. Major languages are Sinhala-74%, Tamil-16% and English-10%. Mean temperature-270C, Total area-65610 SqKm, Length-435Km, Width-225Km. Capital-Colombo, Currency-LKR., Culture-Multi ethnic and multi religious. Sri Lanka economy is based on earnings from tourism, export of tea, rubber, spices, gem, tropical fruits, textiles and foreign employment. Sri Lanka is also famous for Seven World Heritage sites and herbal medicines.

Cashew (Anacardium occidentale L) was introduced from Brazil to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese in the 16th century and later spread as a dry crop in the drier parts of the country and now has become an important agricultural crop.

At present, cashew is becoming an important cash crop for farmers in Sri Lanka where there is great potential for increased production for the local and export market. Cashew has assumed greater importance due to its special qualities and consumer preferences and recognized as the “World Tastiest Cashew” in the global market. The major buyers of cashew are Middle-East countries, Canada, USA, Israel, and Japan. They prefer Sri Lankan cashew as its kernel is of superior quality.

Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation (SLCC) was established in 1973. It is the mandated Government organization for the development of the cashew industry under the purview of the Ministry of Minor Export Crops Promotion. Its head office is situated at Rajagiriya, Colombo.

The objectives of the Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation are enhancing the income of the farmers and processors engaged in the cashew industry, expansion of the extent under cashew cultivation, researching on improvement of new technology, improving efficiency and productivity and protection of the environment.

Cashew Industry in Sri Lanka

The total extent of cashew at present is about 30,000 ha.. The main areas of cultivation are Puttalam, Kurunegala, Batticaloa, Anuradhapura, Mannar and Hambanthota. It has high potential for growing in the dry areas of the island due to its tolerance to moisture stress over long periods.

Total Extent under Cashew Cultivation by Provinces and Districts 

Province District 2010  2011
Total Extent (Ha.) Bering Extent (Ha.) Total Extent (Ha.) Bering Extent (Ha.)
North-Western  Puttalam  7966 5975 8170  6127 
Kurunagala  5468  4101  6179  4634
Central Mathale  720  540  1022  766
Kandy  103  77  140  105
North Central Anuradapura  1969  1477  3204  2403
polonnaruwa  324  243  440  330
Uva Monaragala  917  688  1098  824
Badulla  805  604  1071  803
Southern Hambanthota  1074  805  1107  830
Sabaragamuwa Rathnapura  365 274   416  312
Eastern Ampara  585  439 1014  760 
Baticaloa  672  504  1086  814
Trincomalee  117  88  404 303 
Western Gampaha  906 679   907  680
Northen Kilinochchi  431  323  431 323 
Mannar  119  89  170  128
Vavuniya 167  125   209 158 
Total    22708  17031  27068 20300 

The annual raw cashew production is about 12000 m.tons and average annual kernel production is about 2400 m.tons. Over 1500 m.tons are locally consumed and leaving only small quantity for export.

Raw Cashew and Kernal Production in Sri Lanka (Year 2000-20111) 

Year             Raw Cashew 
Production (Mt.)      
Production (Mt.)     
2000                    4678               935              
2001 6192 1239
2002 7258 1451
2003 8319 1663
2004 8660 1732
2005  9036 1807
2006 9721 1944
2007 11635 2331
2008 5000 1000
2009 12000 2400
2010 8000 1600
2011 6000 1200













Cashew Quantity and Value of Exports

 Year                        Quantity (Mt.)          Value    (Rs. Mn.)         
2000 92.5 47.4
2001 147.1 73.8
2002 142.9 75.9
2003 66.2 42.5
2004 187.2 121.6
2005 279.5 178.4
2006 170.0 129.0
2007 117.5 101.4
2008 208.9 154.6
2009 201.1 133.8
2010 275.0 246.4
2011 314.4 309.9

 Source : Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation

Cashew Production and Yield (Year 2000-2011) 

 Year                        Production (Mt.)          Average Yield (Kg/Ha.)         
2000 4678 267
2001 6197 250
2002 6441 250
2003 8319 315
2004 8660 302
2005 9036 314
2006 9721 324
2007 11655 371
2008 5000 146*
2009 12000 320
2010 8000 239
2011 6000 222*

*Service yield drop due to unexpected rains.


Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation activities are controlled and policy decisions are taken by a Board of Directors appointed by the Government. The management of the corporation is handled by a team of managers headed by the General Manager.

Most of the plantations in Sri Lanka are of seedling origin and due to non promising varieties, production and productivity levels are far inadequate to meet the raw cashew requirement of the processing industry. The average yield / ha. is about 400 Kg / ha. is very low compared to other countries.

Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation has decided to implement the re-planting programme in its plantations where the seedling origin trees are more than 35 years old and they will be removed and re-planting with the identified promising varieties. This productivity improvement programme is carried-out systematically to bring the present yield to potential level.

Research on intercropping has shown that several annual and semiannual field crops could be intercropped successfully in cashew plantations such as maize, gingerly, ground nut, black gram, green gram, pigeon pea, banana, pineapple and few vegetables up to 3 – 4 years. Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation encouraging farmers for intercropping practices not only to increase their income but also to provide better nutritional and irrigation facilities to the cashew trees.

(01) Weed Management

Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation has given lot of emphasis for the weed management as it is one of the main problem in cashew plantations. Cultivation of suitable intercrops, establishment of cover crops such as Purena and Centrosema pubescence have been practiced in Puttalam Plantation.  

Allowing farm animals for grazing in off season, weed control using recommended weedicide in rotation with other manual and mechanical methods (Grass cutters) have been identified as efficient methods appropriate for long term managements of weeds to facilitate all agronomical practices and the good harvest. All measures are taken to control the fire hazards in plantations.

Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation apply fertilizer in plantations to increase the yield. Last few years data shows an increase in the yield due to fertilizer application.

Infrastructure development such as modernizing the present buildings, establishment of better storage facilities, replacement of old farm machineries and vehicles, supply of permanent electricity, refurnishment of plantation circuit bungalows, officer quarters and labour cottages, water supply facilities in the plantations are being carried-out to ensure the maximum productivity and the commitment of the plantation staff.

(02) Extension Services

Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation is implementing a Cashew Subsidy Programme for expanding cashew cultivation with budded and seedlings. The new cultivation programme is undergoing in 16 districts. Ten Regional Offices are established with about eighty officers to implement this programme with an annual target of 4000 acres.

Grant per acre is Rs. 9,500.00 for budded and Rs. 3,500.00 for seedlings. Seedling subsidy programme executed in certain districts only where bud-grafted plants survival rate is very low. Inputs such as good planting material, fertilizer, technical know-low and allowance for land clearing, holing, fertilizer application are included in this grant for 03 years period. However, the existing value of the package is not sufficient and arrangements are being made to increase the value substantially by next year. 

Farmer awareness programmes, formation of cashew societies, encouragement programmes for cashew growers and farmer training and demonstration on advanced planting techniques are also carried-out by the extension staff.

(03) Livelihood Programmes

The Government of Sri Lanka is implementing number of livelihood programmes with Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation to expand the cashew cultivation in the country to improve the farmers’ income and ultimately the national income.

Home gardening projects are also implemented in the areas where subsidy programmes are implemented.

(04) Research and Development

Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation has very importantly recognized the needs of the cashew research for the development of cashew sector in Sri Lanka. The Faculty of Agriculture and Plantation Management of the Wayamba University of Sri Lanka together with the Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation have developed a cashew research programme to address some of the key issues of plantation and post-harvest techniques and implemented its activities from November 1997.

Two research stations are established at Kamandaluwa and Puttalam plantations in the North Western Province to conduct research studies as a continuous process.

The Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation has released six promising varieties (WUCC – 05, 08, 09, 13, 19, 21) from 35 promising accessions. Another two varieties will be released by the end of year 2012.

Research on pest management studies have confirmed that the Red ant (Oecophylla smaragdina F) is useful in cashew as a biological agent as they prey on Helopeltis bug.

In Sri Lanka, only the top soil is used as the potting media. Research studies revealed that cashew seedlings significantly respond to the potting media successfully and fertilizer application is needed for producing vigorous seedlings.

Presently number of research programmes are going-on to find-out the suitable vegetative propagation techniques to produce required planting material for large scale replanting and new planting, suitable high density planting system, fertilizer recommendation for young cashew, productivity of double season cashew, cashew apple by-products and the possibility of producing mosquito coil using CNSL.

(05) Commercial Nurseries

Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation has established seven nurseries island wide to supply of promising planting materials to the cashew growers. Plants will be ready by end of October simultaneously with the North-East monsoon. The capacity of grafted and seedling plants are about 01 Million / Year. Measures are taken to establish nurseries in permanent structure.   

 (06) Plant Propagation Centres

Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation has established 05 Plant Propagation Centres for supplying promising cashew planting materials at regional level.

(07) Pest Control Demonstration

It is recorded 30% - 40% yield reduction due to Helopeltis antoni L attack during flushing after the Maha rain experiencing in the dry zone by North-East monsoon during the month of October – January.

Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation is conducting demonstrations at regional level to educate the cashew farmers with providing chemical samples and sprayers for farmer societies to control this pest.

(08) Organic Cashew

The demand and price for organic cashew is increasing globally. Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation also encouraging cashew growers to produce and apply organic fertilizer.

(09) Rehabilitation of Plantations

About 20000 Acres of plantation belongs to SLCC had been abandoned for more than 25 years due to civil unrest experienced in the North and East provinces.

Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation is making all arrangements to rehabilitate the abandoned plantations with the assistance of Defence Ministry. 

(10) Cashew Marketing

Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation has identified the importance of this division and introduced various management techniques to improve marketing activities. 

Cashew kernel is consumed as a snack food or used for confectionaries. Cashew kernel curry is also famous in Sri Lanka as a tasty traditional dish as well as an essential item in the menu in hotels.

Cashew wine (Cazsholeena) is the only cashew apple by-product available in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation has also developed a range of value added cashew products such as garlic coated, salted, roasted, spicy, devilled, burned, cashew toffees and cashew cookies at affordable prices.

Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation has established a quality control division to monitor and develop the quality control standards to meet the international market needs. Three processing factories are also established to produce quality end products.


Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation is making all arrangements to purchase about 100 – 150 M. Tons raw cashew from cashew growers at the prevailing market prices and along with the harvest collected from SLCC plantations, the processing activities are continued without any interruption throughout the year.

In Sri Lanka, cashew is pre dominantly a small scale crop. In par with the other plantation crops in Sri Lanka, the major part of the production is contributed by small holdings which are less than 02 Ha of land extents.

Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation also assisting private cashew processors and exporters who utilize imported raw cashew nuts in the processing of kernels for exports.

Cashew Marketing Channel in Sri Lanka 


The availability of land and water for agriculture is decreasing where as population continues to increase both locally and globally. Productivity gains are the primary means of meeting these challenges. However, increasing productivity is a daunting task.

Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation is giving increasing attention to the issue of identifying and overcoming constraints to increasing on-farm cashew yields and farm productivity.

The constraints of relevance to resource environment productivity could broadly be categorized either as Physical or Biological; and that of others mainly linked with productivity could practically be categorized as socio-economic.

The physical constraints of productivity arising of agro-climatic parameters such as, land and soil characteristics, temperature, solar radiation, wind, etc. had primarily been recognized by the management of the Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation, and agro-climatic regions with land, soil and climatic conditions, as a complex, having the potential for satisfying the basic physiological growth and development needs of the cashew crop, had been identified as the areas suitable for cashew plantation development. The identified land and soil belts has a tropical monsoonal climate with a relatively variable bi-model pattern of rainfall distribution and the typical long term North-East monsoonal rainfall is received between October and February (in Maha season) providing climatic conditions appropriate for rain-fed cashew crop establishment.

The key biological constraints are disease and pest / insect damages; however, birds are also important as a biological constraint to cashew production. The genetic improvement in general and agronomic management practices in particular, had been identified as of positive contribution to disease control within limits, and the screening for yield improvement so far undertaken in identifying the six suitable selected accessions from the total of 35 accessions screened essentially for yield improvement with limited informal reference to biological constraints also had, an apparent limited focus on disease resistance. 

Socio-economic constraints related to production of cashew had been obvious and so, poor management of small holder plots are significant even within the areas of its dominant spread; the crop management at plantation level apparently is much better, however on the average is does not meet with the needs of realizing the yield potential of the seedling based crops maintained or the alternative agronomic selection based farms or plantations maintained by the leader growers. Thus, the primary objective of the future cashew research programme should be to raise the overall present yield levels achieved to the levels of potentials exhibited in leader farming situations, adapting those technologies being adopted by the lead farmers on similar farming situations or alternatively adopting better technologies of economic advantage through productivity enhancement. Improving the level of in situ productivity is the immediate anticipation of the introduction of known adaptive technologies of production, and increasing the potential productivity levels of the crop is the overall research focus.

Genetic improvement of benefit to resolving problems arising of bio constraints supported by the application of integrated approach of combining traditional practices with biological and chemical means of benefit should be the focus for overcoming biological constraints of production.


Inter country cooperation could be very helpful in achieving the common goal strengthening cooperation among countries, institutions and individual scientists in production development is very important. A conference like this will allow us to learn from each other. Diversification of value added products from cashew nuts, CNSL (Cashew Nut Shell Liquid) and cashew apple is very important.


(01) Cashew Cultivation Principles and Techniques.  

Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation and Wayamba University of Sri Lanka Professor S. J. B. A. Jayasekara and Mr. N. E. M. Jayasekara – 2003.

(02) A New Lease of Life for Cashew Industry.

News Paper Article dated 31.07.2011 on Sunday Observer. Mr. Sanath Weerakoon.

(03) Recent Developments in Cashew Research.

University Grants Commission Sri Lanka and Faculty of Agriculture and Plantation Management Wayamba University of Sri Lanka Professor D. P. S. I. G. Attanayake, Professor S. J. B. A. Jayasekara 

(04) Integrated Production Practices of Cashew in Asia. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Bangkok, Thailand – 1988

(05) Cashew Bulletin

The publication of Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation.  Volume 04, No : 01 – 2001.

(06) Hand Book for the Ceylon Farmer By Agricola 

Web Resources


Mr. G. B. B. Surendra
Manager (Research & Development)
Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation
1334, Old Kotte Road
Sri Lanka

Mobile : 0094 071-8015432

E-mail : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Last Updated on Thursday, 13 October 2016 10:30  
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