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Uganda cashew nuts (Anacadium occidentale) come from an evergreen plant that produces a huge apple at the tip of which nestles the tiny nut in its shell. With the agility to reach 14 meters high or 6 meters for the diminutive variety, this tree is now a common sight in Uganda just like it is in neighboring Tanzania, the region’s biggest producer. Though Uganda grows its cashews, it nevertheless imports the majority from across the border to satiate the local demand. It exports its nuts at 140 percent more price than it sells at home markets.
The origin of cashews was Brazil before it spread to the Indian Ocean in the 1500s via explorers from Portugal. It may have reached East Africa nearly at the same time as it did India, notably through Portuguese ships. Currently, select East and West African countries like Tanzania and Nigeria are among the highest producers in the world.
Cashew nuts are rich sources of protein for bodybuilding. At 36 percent of the daily value, the protein in the cashews is easily one of the highest in leguminous fruits. The level of iron is substantially high at 37 percent of the daily needs while that of magnesium for strong bone structure is quite high at 73 percent. For good metabolism, eating these nuts gives you 20 percent of the daily needs of vitamin B-6. The level of potassium is 18 percent for balancing the electrolyte part of blood.
We source our Uganda cashew nuts from three key districts in the north and east of the country. One of these is the Karamoja district where the crop is becoming a new form of livelihood for mainly pastoralist residents. Other parts include Abim and Napak. All our family growers cultivate their crops under Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), which means the low use of chemical sprays and reliance on farmyard compost for soil enrichment.
We harvest our cashews from Uganda in a careful process that begins with weeding the field to prevent the contamination of the nuts. Our produce agents normally expect healthy, old trees of about eight years of age to produce at most 25 kilograms after a full harvest. We usually clear the field first to collect any fallen seeds. We also use ladders to thrash out any top-placed nuts that are yet to fall. Our workers then transport the seeds for sorting and thorough cleaning to the packing shed.
As an optional process, we process Uganda cashew nuts via a kernel roasting mechanism. The machines usually allow the shells into a hot air stream and then into a sieve. Once they reach the sieve the shells remain outside while any light debris passes through for discarding.
We then roast the kernels while they are still within their shells through a steaming procedure. The boiling of the Uganda cashew nuts takes less than 20 minutes. This is followed by a 24-hour natural drying process to make the shells soft enough to peel out. This leaves only the inner kernel wall protecting the sumptuous white flesh of the nut. To peel this layer without damaging the nut, we put the nuts again into the oven for some minutes then remove them. We finally hand-shell the now soft shells which finally exposes the raw nuts.
The penultimate step is that of grading Uganda cashew nuts in their raw, white, nutty forms. There are about nine grades: the first grade has the biggest size, rich creamy color and soft texture. The other grades follow according to similar merits only that the smaller the seed, the lower the grade. One last dip in the oven gives the nuts the crisp golden color that is savory, the tinge that you see them in when they are in their packets.
We pack Uganda cashew nuts in multiple square PET tins that are approximately 11.3 kilos per tin. Our other measurements include 10-kilo sizes. They all have vacuum enclosed lids that keep the nuts well hydrated. Indeed, the nuts reach you while still containing moisture content that is 8 percent of their dry matter. To enhance the lifespan of the nutty seeds, we also keep them in vacuumed polythene packets also known as poly sacks that contain carbon dioxide for keeping out microbes. Most of the produce goes to Dubai and the Middle-east, while the rest to Europe.
Our storage parameters for Uganda cashew nuts is in a cold, humid room with a temperature of at least 5° Celsius. We maintain this temperature even during surface transportation on board our special trucks to the airport in Entebbe. You can expect the package to touch down in your destination a day or two after dispatching by air.
In short, if you are hankering after the raw or roasted cashew nuts from Uganda, you now have a partner to count on. We avail our nuts from select locales in the East African nation where family growers do their best to grow them organically. You can also request for any quantity that suits your needs as we have contracted many farmers to meet the demand. You are rest assured that our prices match your budget. Make an order today!
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