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Bengaluru: Once touted as a privilege of only the rich, and used in a variety of food products.

“India is not only the world’s largest producer, processor and exporter of cashews but also its largest consumer, especially the broken nuts, used in making sweets, biscuits, cakes, chocolates and snacks throughout the year,” Karnataka Cashew Manufacturers Association secretary M. Tukaram Prabhu told agencies .


Excluding groundnuts, a common man’s delight, the cashew nut is more affordable than other nuts like walnuts among dry fruits and a key ingredient in a range of dishes, including upma, curries and even curd rice to tickle the palate.

Though grown mainly in the south and western states of Karnataka, Kerala, Goa and Maharashtra since the Portuguese brought a few cashew saplings in ships and sowed them along the west coast over 400 years ago, farmers in eastern coastal states like Andhra Pradesh, Odisha Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have also begun growing them.

“Cashew came to India in the 16th century and took roots in the coastal region, as its saplings found the local soil more congenial than in southern Europe where it originated. Through a three-month crop in a year and harvested in summer, farmers in eastern states have also joined us in growing its trees,” Prabhu said.

According to the Kochi-based state-run Cashew Export Promotion Council, the crop is grown across 700,000 hectares, producing around 400,000 tonnes of raw nuts in shells annually though the yield per hectare is less than in Africa, Brazil, Indonesia and Vietnam for various reasons, including mechanization.

“As a short, stocky and ever-green tropical tree, the cashew tree flowers once a year between November and January and its fruit ripens in two months (February-March) for harvesting by summer,” Prabhu said.

In raw form, while cashew kernel is soft, white and meaty, its colour and taste changes when roasted, turning into a golden hue from creamy white and its mellow pulp becomes crisp. When salted, it turns into a most delicious nut.

“India was the first country to enter the world market with cashew kernels and pioneered its processing as an industry, with 4,000 units, employing about 400,000 people, 90 percent of them being women,” Prabhu added.(IANS)


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The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

By Siddhi Jain

Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

four children standing on dirt during daytime 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash


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