Home   >   NEWS & VIEWS   >   News

  • Agriculture dept bets on innovative tech to transform cashew farming 01/08/2024

    Jan 8th, 2024

    For years, the extraction of cashew nuts has remained a painstaking manual process, involving laborious tasks to separate the nuts from their fruits. Recognising this bottleneck, the directorate of agriculture has turned to innovation, seeking a transformative solution to streamline the cumbersome nut separation process. Their quest led them to engage the brilliant minds at BITS Pilani, enlisting engineers’ expertise to design a machine tailored specifically for this purpose. “The abundance of cashew apples makes the extraction process extremely time-consuming. There is a need for an efficient deseeding machine to tackle this challenge head-on,” said agriculture director, Nevil Alphonso. “The collaborative efforts between the agriculture department and academic institutions like BITS Pilani will not only streamline processes, but also minimise waste while enhancing agricultural sustainability,” he said. However, the quest for optimisation doesn’t end there. Once the cashew juice is extracted, a massive volume of fibrous residue is discarded. Alphonso said that chemical analysis has revealed hidden potential within this discarded fiber, prompting a new avenue of exploration. “Tonnes of cashew apple residue go to waste every year. The fiber, although not readily consumable by cattle due to its acidity, still retains properties that could serve as organic fertiliser. Yet, its high pH levels pose a challenge for direct soil disposal, necessitating further scientific investigation to effectively repurpose it for agricultural applications,” he said.