The Tamil Nadu Cashew Processors and Exporters Association (TNCPEA) has applied for a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Panruti cashews. The MSME Intellectual Property Facilitation Centre of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development’s Madurai Agri Business Incubation Forum acted as the facilitator for filing the tag.
According to the secretary of TNCPEA, M. Ramakrishnan, “We have been pushing for the GI tag for Panruti cashews and the Tamil Nadu government was also keen to get the same for traditional unique produces from the district including Panruti jackfruit and cashews.”
“Panruti cashews are unique in nature because of the taste and quality. GI tagging of Panruti cashews would not only provide a fillip to the industry but would also enhance the secondary economic activities in the region and safeguard the interests of farmers and cashew exporters from the region,” he said.
According to the application, though Panruti cashews are slightly small, they have a unique value in the market. Colloquially known as the ‘goldmine’ of Cuddalore, it has a huge demand across India and the world.
Out of the total 1,42,000 hectares under cashew cultivation in the State, Panruti accounts for about 35,000 hectares. The region has around 32 export-oriented units besides 250 processing units and 500 cottage industries. The cashew cultivation and processing units are located in 376 villages in the taluks of Cuddalore, Panruti, Vriddachalam, and Kurunjipadi in the district. Panruti cashew is mainly cultivated in laterite, red and coastal sands.
The cashew apples from Panruti are also uniquely distinctive. The apple is round-shaped and bright red in colour. The average fruit weight is 42.80 gm while the nuts are of medium size with an average weight of 6.63 gm and kernel weight of 1.7 g. The shelling percentage was 28.5 with a grade W 320 kernel count.
According to an international study, out of six cashew varieties selected from different parts of India, the Panruti variety showed significant results in high raw protein content of 23.0g/100g. The moisture content of the Panruti cashew is also low when compared to other varieties according to a study published in the Food Science and Nutrition Journal, Mr. Ramakrishnan added.