Nuts pro­vid­ing jobs and tourism

Macadamia farm boasts 205ha so far

Daily Dispatch - - News - By PELOKAZI MH­LABA

TRANS­FOR­MA­TION in agri­cul­ture has seen the first macadamia busi­ness spe­cial­ists tak­ing cru­cial steps to­wards mak­ing a change and a dif­fer­ence in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

In their goal of de­vel­op­ing macadamia farm­ing as an in­dus­try and to en­cour­age ru­ral par­tic­i­pa­tion, the gov­ern­ment-funded Ncera Macadamia Farm (NMF) has spread its wings to a new site in the prov­ince un­der the Ama­jingqi tribe in Wil­low­vale.

Mku­l­uli Pakade, who is re­spon­si­ble for driv­ing the pro­vin­cial and na­tional ex­pan­sion plan, said the NMF had planted 180ha of macadamia trees in Wil­low­vale.

The Ama­jingqi Macadamia Plan­ta­tion, which started plant­ing in 2015, now boasts 205ha of trees, thanks to as­sis­tance from the NMF.

The plan is to plant 300ha. In Septem­ber, the fi­nal 95ha will be planted.

The Macadamia busi­ness model for the prov­ince, which is based on the Ncera project, has been adopted by the re­cently es­tab­lished East Cape Macadamia (Pty) Ltd.

Pakade said the model would be repli­cated in places along the Wild Coast.

He said they were busy with fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies for two more sites, one for the Amathandela tribe in Wil­low­vale, which was at busi­ness plan­ning stage, and an­other, the Bik­it­sha site, also in Wil­low­vale.

“We will con­tinue to utilise the ex­ist­ing 5 000ha of land which is the po­ten­tial land for macadamias in the East­ern Cape.

“The plan is to roll out the ini­tia­tive on a na­tional scale, tar­get­ing the Lim­popo, Mpumalanga and Kwa-Zulu Natal Pakade.

Last weekend, at the agro­tourism-an­gled Ncera Macadamia Har­vest Fes­ti­val, East Cape Macadamia Pty Ltd cel­e­brated a 72-ton har­vest which was signed off by Agri­cul­ture, Forestry and Fish­eries Min­is­ter Zen­zeni Zok­wana and Tourism Min­is­ter Tokozile Xasa.

Pakade said the in­dus­try was ca­pa­ble of em­ploy­ing gen­er­a­tions of young peo­ple and women, stat­ing that each hectare gen­er­ated a job, and each macadamia tree lasted for 100 years.

“The in­dus­try has cre­ated more than 150 jobs for Ncera res­i­dents, and an­other 147 jobs for the Ama­jingqi,” he said.

Pakade said the plan­ta­tion had gen­er­ated eco­nomic growth and had beau­ti­fied the land­scape, al­low­ing tourists to visit the farm for leisure.

“Just like vine­yards in Western Cape, macadamias are a cat­a­lyst for tourism.”

He said the de­part­ments of Agri­cul­ture, Forestry and Fish­eries and Trade and In­dus­try had in­vested in in­fra­struc­ture for agro-tourism pro­jects such as macadamia plan­ta­tions. prov­inces,” said

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