How to Start a Cashew Nut Snack Business in Uganda

How to start a cashew nut snack business in Uganda

Cashew nuts are kidney-shaped seeds from the cashew tree a tropical tree. Today we talk about how to start a cashew nut Snack Business in Uganda.

Although they are commonly referred to as tree nuts, and nutritionally comparable to them, cashews are really just seeds. They’re rich in nutrients and beneficial plant compounds and make for easy addition to many dishes.

Cashews may help improve your overall health and have been linked to nutrients attached in addition to benefits like weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and a healthier heart.

Cashews are rich in a range of nutrients. One ounce (28 grams) of unroasted, unsalted cashews provides you with the following

  • Calories: 157
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Fat: 12 grams
  • Carbs: 9 grams
  • Fibre: 1 gram
  • Copper: 67% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Magnesium: 20% of the DV
  • Manganese: 20% of the DV
  • Zinc: 15% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 13% of the DV
  • Iron: 11% of the DV
  • Selenium: 10% of the DV
  • Thiamine: 10% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 8% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 7% of the DV

Starting  a cashew nut  snack processing  business in Uganda

There are several value-added products one can produce from a cashew processing process.  These are cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL), dried, and roasted cashew nut.

One needs to understand the processing process of the roasted packed cashew nuts that we pick off the shelves in the supermarket. The following steps are used to produce the snack we enjoy. 


Roasting of cashew nuts is done in three Methods drum roasting, oil bath roasting, and steam boiling.

Drum roasting:   fed the nuts into an inclined rotating drum which is heated initially to such an extent that the exuding oil ignites and burns, thus charring the shell. The drum maintains its temperature due to the burning of CNSL oozing out of the nuts. Roasting takes 3-5 minutes.

Oil Bath Roasting:  this is the traditional method of roasting cashew nuts. In this method, you will need to pass the raw nuts for 1-3 minutes through a bath of CNSL maintained at a temperature of 190-200°C by means of a screw or belt conveyor.

A rectangular vessel of 60-90 cm wide and 90 cm deep with a flat bottom is used for roasting. The whole assembly furnace uses spent cashew shells as fuel. After conditioning, you will need to give the nuts a mild roasting in a closed vessel for 20-25 minutes at 100-120 psi to lose the kernels from the shell and make its removal easy.

The process consists of moisture conditioning, roasting, shelling, kernel drying, peeling, grading, and packing. Find below the details on the steps involved:


Cashew Nuts after roasting are shelled manually in most of the units. Mechanical shelling can also be done where the shell is cut and the kernel is scooped out using a sharp needle. The main disadvantage is that the kernels are contaminated by the CNSL from the mildly roasted nuts.


Dry the kernels after separation from shells to reduce the moisture content (2-4%) and loosen the adhering testa. The most commonly used is a Borma dryer with wire mesh trays loaded into metal chambers heated indirectly by gases from the furnace at the bottom. Frequently, change the trays for uniform heating.


Peeling is the removal of testa from kernels. Kernels after removal from the dryer being brittle are cooled for 24-48 hours for moisture absorption. You can remove the testa using sharp bamboo sticks. 

Grading and Conditioning

You need to grade the kernels based on their size and colour according to the Government specifications of your area. You will need to condition the kernels before packing to prevent breakage during transport. Additionally, you will need to maintain moisture content below 5% to prevent microbial and oxidative spoilage takes place.


Cashew nuts get rancid and quickly go stale, necessitating packaging having a permeability of oxygen and moisture. Generally, you can pack the bulk of cashew nuts in tin containers (metal cans) after evacuating and filling them with CO2.

Tips to start a Rolex Business in Uganda

Here are 7 Steps to Start a Cashew Nut snack business in Uganda

1.  Acquire a Cashew Processing Business Registration & License

In starting a cashew processing unit, you will need to obtain several registrations and licenses from Govt. authorities. These include registration of the firm, Trade License, company brand name or trade mark and other licenses.

2. Cost of Starting a small scale Cashew Nut Processing Business

Calculate the cost of starting a small-scale automatic cashew nut plant with a capacity of processing 350 kg/hr of nuts will be around Uganda shillings 12,000,000.


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