Cashew nuts in place of corn and cattle

By Thai Newsroom Reporters

FARMER KHAJORN PANWONG, a native of Wiang Sa district in Nan, has not only worked hard to turn his drought-stricken corn and cattle field into a fertile cashew nut farm but encouraged his relatives and neighbours to follow suit for the last several years.

His pursuit for agricultural advancement and commercial success with his farm goods barely got started five years earlier when he replaced his loss-ridden corn growing and cattle raising with the lucrative cashew nut farming.

Cashew nut trees can stand droughts and dry seasons though some might fail to yield a very large quantity of fruit without the farmer paying close, continual attention to the proper cultivating process.

Given a drought-resistant hybrid species of cashew nut trees, the farmer has found out in no time his products are jubilantly regarded as a cash crop of the northern province.

Khajorn suggested his reluctant relatives and neighbours to turn their parched parcels of land which had allowed the cattle to graze and the corn plants to die standing in dry season into a literally green farm of cashew nut trees so that they could make handsome money with such cash crops for sales.

The young farmer has planned to extend the self-inspired promotion of cashew nut farming beyond his home province of Nan toward other northern provinces, namely Chiang Mai, Phrae, Uttaradit, Lampang and Lampoon. 

He remarked the farmers in each of those provinces may spare some 1,000 rai of their farmland to grow cashew nut trees on a tentative basis and see how they will fare in terms of a sales profit in the course of the next four or five years. 

Nonetheless, he admitted the fact that fellow farmers from one generation to another may have been too  accustomed to growing corn and raising cattle to try to do anything else for a change, albeit in gradual fashion. Given several years of trial and error in his agricultural enterprise, Khajorn was as well determined to keep pushing for their own sake.

A cashew nut tree yields an average of 20 kilogrammes of fruit in harvest season and a kilogramme of cashew nuts currently sells for a range of 29 to 40 baht at the farm.

The demand for cashew nuts has always outstripped the supply as the products are not only bound for processed food factories in the country and export markets but directly catered to restaurants nationwide.

That being said, some three billion baht worth of cashew nuts has been reportedly imported in a year though Thailand used to rank as the world’s sixth largest cashew nut exporting country with Vietnam ranking on top.


Top: Cashew nut leaves, flowers and fruit. Photo: Michael MK Khor (CC BY 2.0)

Home Page: The cashew nut tree (Anacardium occidentale). Photo: Dinesh Valke (CC BY-SA 2.0)


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