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Fort Portal Farmers Want Macadamia Processing Machine

by Wangah Wanyama
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By Abdulkarim Ssengendo     

Small-scale farmers of macadamia have asked the government to support them to get a nut processing factory.

The call was made by Julius Bigabwa, a renowned macadamia farmer in Kanyambeho village-Kiko town council in Form Portal city.

Kanyambeho said there are about 40 macadamia farmers in his area and once they get a processing plant for macadamia it will create a sustainable industry for them to see returns on the investment.

He added that the factory will also help them to leverage global marketing influence, access the best sales opportunities and achieve the best possible international prices. 

He said a small-scale factory would cost them between shs300-400 million to establish. They are currently using manual machines to crush nuts, a process he said is tiresome and cannot produce good volumes to feed high market demand. He also suggested the government can also support individual farmers with macadamia crusher machines.

He said each machine which can crush 100-500kgs of nuts per hour alone costs shs 78 million while a dehydrator costs around shs30 million. Macadamia farming has seen exponential growth in demand across the globe. It is one of the most highly demanded commodities on the world market.

In Uganda the crop is being promoted as an emerging high value strategic commodity. Growing macadamia nuts is a long-term investment.

Bigabwa said the trees only start to yield nuts 7 years after planting. He encouraged all farmers to embrace growing macadamia as this will help them to improve their household incomes.

He said the good chance with the macadamia crop once the trees provide nuts, it will provide good harvest for many years, he said they can harvest even during dry periods.

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