A CYCLE OF ORGANIC FERTILIZATION OF CASHEW TREES IMPROVES THE YIELD AND QUALITY OF THE PRODUCTS

ABSTRACT This study aimed to evaluate the effect of organic fertilizers on production and quality of fruits and pseudo fruits on adult trees of Anacardium occidentale L. by a productive cycle. We established three treatments; organic fertilization (BIO), synthetic fertilization (SF), and unfertilized (UF). The number of panicles m-3, number of flowers per panicle and the number of fruits m-3 in the trees was measured. After harvest, physicochemical analyses were performed to fruits and pseudo fruits. Although the SF treatment promoted a greater number of panicles per unit leaf area (P < 0.05) on the other treatments, the yield (measured both as the amount of fruit-pseudo fruit m-3) was the same (P > 0.05) with BIO treatment. However, the amount of fruit (main marketed product) was higher in BIO (1.80 kg tree-1) compared to the other two treatments (SF = 1.35; UF = 1.09). The BIO treatment increased by 81% polyphenol content compared to unfertilized treatment. Similarly, fat content and titratable acidity were higher in BIO, compared to treatments without fertilization and synthetic fertilization (P < 0.05). It was demonstrated that the application of biofertilizer in a production cycle increases fruit production and modifies the chemical composition of seeds.