Nuts providing jobs and tourism
Macadamia farm boasts 205ha so far
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