By Joshua Kato
Macadamia is a new potential money maker. It was one of the highlights from the New Vision Expo last Month. The plant, according to NAADS is currently grown in Kyenjojo, Kabarole, Mbarara, Wakiso and Mityana by 1,000 farmers. In the 1st 12 years sh82m can be realized with a profit of sh57m per acre.
They also attain full production between 12 to 15 years: Current production is about 3000metric tons still in the shells. Per kilo, the shelled nuts go for sh4000. The nut, together with Hass avocado have been selected by the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) as one of the new money crops. During the expo, NAADS did not only exhibit macadamia, but also facilitated a training for farmers about the potential opportunities in growing macadamia. Other facilitators included Amalf farms, who grow macadamia.
Promoting the crops among farmers
According to Grace Kazigati, for the start, NAADs is working with nucleus farms under a partnership. This is premised on the current government strategy, of working with large scale commercial farmers with land holding of 50 acres and above. However, the implementation guidelines provide for a window for other individuals and institutions who may be interested in participating.
To kick start the intervention, delivery and distribution of Hass Avocado and Macadamia seedlings to participating farmers through the earmarked Nucleus farmer partners commenced in the second season of 2022 and will continue throughout the first planting season of 2023
So far, 29,234 seedlings of macadamia have been distributed to 11 districts targeting 799 farmers and a total acreage of 353, added Kazigati added
A farmer can start with as low as one acre of land and make a profit. However, because it is a long term crop, growing it on hired land may turn out to be troublesome in the long run, since the contract for the lease may end before the farmer earns good profits. Fertile, loam soils are good for the crop.