Crack­ing the macadamia mar­ket

Vuk'uzenzele - - General - Adele Schor­mann

aN Ex­POrT

The South African Youth Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (YCCISA) and the Na­tional De­part­ment of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment are invit­ing macadamia farm­ers in Mpumalanga, Lim­popo and Kwazulu-Na­tal to ap­ply for a three-year macadamia ex­port con­tract.

YCCISA act­ing pres­i­dent Vic­tor Mashego said the con­tract re­quires 6 000t of macadamias, which rep­re­sents about 10 per cent of the coun­try’s an­nual macadamia pro­duc­tion. The or­gan­i­sa­tion is look­ing to give macadamia farm­ers who have land and water rights the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate.

Mashego said they are look­ing for as many farm­ers as pos­si­ble to par­tic­i­pate in the ini­tia­tive to sup­ply macadamia nuts to China.

“We have signed a three-year mar­ket deal with one of the big­gest macadamia pro­cess­ing plants in China. The farm­ers who qual­ify for the project are those who are al­ready spe­cial­is­ing in macadamia farm­ing and look­ing to ac­cess the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket,” he ex­plained.

The long-term plan is to es­tab­lish a pro­cess­ing plant so that par­tic­i­pat­ing farm­ers can form part of a co­op­er­a­tive.

Ac­cord­ing to the South­ern African Macadamia In­dus­try’s statis­tics pub­lished on 2 June 2017 by the South African Macadamia Grow­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (SAMAC), South Africa ex­ports 95 per cent of its macadamia pro­duce an­nu­ally. The value of macadamia ex­ports in 2016 amounted to al­most R3 bil­lion.

The pro­jected pro­duc­tion of macadamia nuts in South Africa for 2018 is cal­cu­lated at 57 600 met­ric tonnes nut in shell. Mpumalanga is lead­ing the pack as the big­gest macadamia pro­duc­tion re­gion in South Africa and has the high­est growth rate.

The project will see par­tic­i­pants pro­vided with saplings, farm­ing in­puts, such as chem­i­cal in­puts, mar­ket ac­cess and value-chain op­por­tu­ni­ties. The saplings are pro­duced by Ajuri Farm’s op­er­a­tional nurs­ery. The farm is based in Bar­ber­ton, Mpumalanga, and run by fe­male farmer Es­ther Mh­longo.

“I like the macadamia in­dus­try very much but our big­gest chal­lenge is to get ac­cess to the right mar­kets, like the Chi­nese. The youth can learn a lot from this in­dus­try. It is im­por­tant that one must work hard and show de­ter­mi­na­tion to be suc­cess­ful,” said Mh­longo.

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