Macadamia farmers to get 10 million seedlings from processor
Macadamia farmers in the country are expected to reap big after a Thika-based processor promised to distribute 10 million seedlings to boost the crop’s production.
Jungle Nuts, a company with linkage to most communities and which purchases natural and organic macadamia produce across the country hopes to distribute 10 million seedlings across the country for the next ten years.
One million seedlings, according to the program’s schedule will be distributed every year.
With Kenya currently being ranked as number 3 in the world in processed macadamia nuts and the largest in organic macadamia in the world, Patrick Wainaina, the company CEO said that the initiative will see the country overtake South Africa and Australia which are the best producers globally.
“We hope to overtake South Africa and Australia in production by year 2025,” he said.
Speaking when he was distributing seedlings to farmers in Kiambu County, Wainaina said the seedlings distribution program will further accomplish creation of 1 million jobs in the Agriculture sector in the next five years.
“The distribution initiative will create a chain of job opportunities both for the farmers, harvesters, marketers and those involved in logistics,” he added.
He reiterated that macadamia and cashew nuts have a long shelf life, are versatile and with tremendous health benefits which make them highly sought after.
While urging farmers to embrace their production, Wainaina praised macadamia as having no cholesterol and thereby urged farmers to embrace the farming.
This comes days after farmers from the vast county vowed to continue storing the crop produce due to unstable markets.
The farmers drawn from Gatundu North, South and Githunguri constituencies said that since the onset of Covid-19, brokers and nut processors have been buying the crop at throw-away prices giving them zero returns.
Led by Joram Mwangi, the farmers said they have so far stored the nuts in tonnes and were not ready to sell them until the market price changes in their favour.
The low prices of nuts precipitated by the global pandemic, they said, has given middlemen a field day with most brokers now out to make a kill from the farmers desperation.
They said that during normal seasons, the produce pays them better than other commercialized crops vowing to remain still until the current market crisis stops.