Global demand for macadamia rises

02 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Global demand for macadamia rises With improvement in production and trade, the industry anticipates the much-needed boost in prices this year

The ManicaPost

 

Trust Bvaranga
Chipinge Correspondent

AFTER a two-year slump in macadamia prices, farmers are optimistic for a change as global demand is now slowly rising.

With improvement in production and trade, the industry anticipates the much-needed boost in prices this year.

Speaking during an engagement session with farmers, Macadamia Association of Zimbabwe’s technical advisor, Mr Lazarus Dhliwayo said the macadamia market took a drastic knock during the Covid-19 era, but is now slowly recovering.

Mr Dhliwayo, an agronomist, is also a macadamia buyer and exporter.

“Zimbabwe produces less than 1 000 metric tonnes of macadamia nuts, while South Africa produces over 50 000 metric tonnes every year. This gives South Africa a competitive advantage. They also end up influencing the market prices.

“South Africa has sea ports such as Durban, unlike Zimbabwe which is a landlocked country, so the buyers are hosted in South Africa where they buy from.

“Macadamia farmers from Zimbabwe get less profits compared to their South African counterparts because of transport costs incurred in ferrying the products from Zimbabwe to South Africa,” said Mr Dhliwayo.

In 2022, the price of macadamia was pegged at between US$1.80 and US$2 per kilogramme, depending on quality.

The prices took a further knock in 2023 and traded from between US$0.80 to US$1 per kilogramme.

In the past, the quality of the locally produced macadamia has been affected by the high cost of inputs.

At the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, prices and costs of herbicides and fertiliser spiralled beyond the reach of many small-scale farmers.

A bag of Compound J rose from US$32 to US$98. The herbicides were also exorbitantly charged, thereby forcing farmers to resort to cheaper ones.

Vital chemicals such as ampligo, actara and fastac could only be purchased by large-scale commercial farmers.

Macadamia nuts are graded and packaged into small and bigger nuts. The bigger nuts attract bigger prices and vice-versa.

 

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