The journey of cashews in Goa began nearly 450 years ago when the Portuguese missionaries brought in the Cashew plant from Brazil to prevent soil erosion in the state. In due course of time the local population was acquainted with the edible property of this marvelous fruit. Eventually the cashew plants grew rapidly along the western coast of India attracting various local businesses. Among them was Shri Ganesh Mahadeo Prabhu Zantye, who started a household business of ground-roasting of cashew nuts and selling them in the flourishing markets of Mumbai and Karachi.
Eventually, various processes such as the removal of moisture using heat chambers and peeling of cashews were employed to maximize the scope of the small scale industry. Along with the introduction of gradation, the packaging methods also began evolving thus ensuring a better delivery of quality products.
In due course of time the fruit received immense popularity in the market space which led to its depletion. During the same time a Goan freedom fighter who was in Portuguese exile in East Africa returned to Goa with the news regarding the availability of raw cashews in Mombasa. The cashew processing enterprises jumped at this opportunity. Shri Narayan Zantye along with his brother Sriram procured raw cashews from the East African countries. With a motive for further business expansion, they set up cashew processing factories at Bicholim and other parts of the territory.