Farming 101Instructional MaterialvaMudhumeni

Macadamia nuts production

By Lynette Simango

Imagine investing in something for 5 years and enjoy the profits for the rest of your life. You might be wondering how you can do that? You can do that by growing macadamia nuts! Macadamia nuts are a lucrative cash crop worth considering. Macadamia nuts may not give you quick returns but when it begins to pay off, you won’t regret it so just try not to be myopic. For those who might be interested, here is a quick guide on how to grow macadamia nuts.

Macadamia nuts can grow from seed but this might take them long to reach maturity that is why it is encouraged for you to grow them from grafted plants which cut the process to half. Besides taking longer to grow, macadamia nut seedlings have their own disadvantages as results are unpredictable. Macadamia nut trees can never set fruit. If you want your macadamia nut yield to increase, consider planting more than one tree for cross-pollination. Also, use quality grafted macadamia nut trees from productive cultivars. Having an ample supply of beneficial insects, particularly bees may help increase production and you should also consider growing lots of plants nearby that the pollinators like.

Macadamia nuts do well in Manicaland. Macadamia nuts grow well where the soils are deeply fertile, well-draining, and slightly acidic (pH of roughly 5.5 to 6.5.). Macadamia nut trees require lots of water and that is why it is recommended to consider irrigation in the event that there is little rainfall in your area of choice. On the other hand, macadamia nuts trees can tolerate frost or high wind which is a good thing.

The returns from Macadamia nuts production are encouraging. Looking at a potential yield of 5 tonnes in-shell nuts per hectare with an average price of $2.50 per kg, that can translate to $12,500/ha. Who can resist that? If you don’t have the capacity to grow a hectare plus, you can just do a countable number of macadamia nut trees bearing in mind that each tree can give you at least 100kg of nuts per season (The Chronicles 2012).

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