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Macadamia nuts help release stress and it will strengthen your hair

Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts have many health benefits which are worth planting for. Macadamia nuts take care of your heart or they can keep you upbeat all day. These nuts are fruits of the macadamia tree which is native to Australia. They are commercially very important. Macadamia belongs to Proteaceae family of plants and it can reach as high as 40 feet but the grafted hybrid variety is shorter. Its leaves are elliptical and are usually arranged in whorls of 3 – 6.  Its flowers are slender, and are about 10 inches long.

Macadamia nuts are extremely hard and woody. They have a pointed apex and have 1 or 2 seeds. If you take macadamia nuts in excess amounts, then they can cause skin allergies like rashes and other allergies like coughing. If you bought macadamia nuts that are salted, then they can elevate your blood pressure. This is a reason why you should eat unsalted natural variety. In addition, macadamia nuts are good source of fiber but if you take them in excess amounts, then they can cause gastrointestinal problems like bloating, diarrhea and gas.

Macadamia nuts health benefits

Strengthens hair

Macadamia nuts are rich in palmitoleic acid. They can help to treat hair and it can strengthen the hair roots. When you are massaging your hair regularly with macadamia nut oil, then it can make it shiny, stimulates hair growth and it can rebuild hair elasticity. This oil can also prevent the hair breakage by penetrating the scalp and it can improve the strength of the hair follicles. Also it can control the frizz. It will hydrate your hair as well.

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Macadamia nuts Improve skin health

Macadamia nuts have essentially fatty acids which are playing an important role in the skin health. It has palmitoleic acid which can hydrate the skin, support the health of cell membranes and promotes skin healing. You should apply macadamia oil to your skin because it can render a youthful glow. It is thick, but it gets absorbed by your skin very easily. It is important to know that there is some amount of palmitoleic acid which is naturally happening on our skin and as we are getting older, it diminishes. When you apply macadamia nut oil on your skin, then it can replenish your skin with this essential acid. Also this acid can delay the skin aging. It will prevent the early onset of the signs of aging like age spots and wrinkles.

Macadamia nuts can help Relieve stress

There are some studies in which are shown that macadamia nuts can help to relieve the oxidative stress in people. They are rich in antioxidants which can help to beat the stress as well. Antioxidants fight against the free radicals and if you have high levels of free radicals in your body, then it can lead to oxidative stress and an increased risk of disease. Also these nuts have high – quality protein but it is in small amounts. There are some studies in which are said that when we consume a handful of macadamia nuts due to their high – quality protein content, they can keep the blood sugar levels in check and they can provide a steady flow of enhanced energy and mood.

Boost metabolism

Macadamia nuts have monounsaturated fatty acids which can accelerate fat metabolism. When you are consuming 3 nuts, then they can reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome.

 Offers energy boost

Macadamia nuts have complex carbs and they can spike your energy levels. It is known that fats sustain the energy.

Macadamia nuts Aid in anemia treatment

These nuts have some amount of iron which can help to treat the anemia and it can prevent this disease. But you should include other foods that are rich iron such as spinach. Also when you are including Vitamin C in your diet, then it can improve your iron absorption and this can help to prevent anemia.

Now if you area farmer in Kenya and you want a tree that can give you money, think Macadamia. As we have seen the above benefits, macadamia nuts are highly sourced all over the world.

 

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Hass Avocado and Macadamia farming will Improve Lives “ Kiraitu Murungi”

On Friday 5th October 2018, H.E governor Kiraitu Murungi distributed hybrid Macadamia and Hass Avocado seedlings to farmers in Meru.

Although the governor was categorical that he doesn’t encourage farmers to uproot their miraa, he was quick to note that hass avocado and macadamia farming is the future.

In January 2018, Meru County government through the governor took major steps in empowering farmers in the region to embrace diversity and stop depending on traditional cash crops such as tea and coffee. Towards that end, the County’s Department of Agriculture promised to distribute half a million seedlings of avocado in the next two years.

Top Skills farmers need to be successful in Kenya

The Hass avocado species has been identified for the project which if successful, should see farmers earn at least ten thousand shillings from each tree every season.

As he was speaking at Gitoro ASK showground, the governor asked Trade and Industrialization CS and former Meru governor to help get a good market for farmers. He distributed over 400,000 seedlings.

With the demand for avocados growing in the west, Kenyan farmers are upping production of the coveted crop and reaping the benefits.

Farmers are now switching from coffee and tea to avocados in a bid to profit from the growing European demand. Kenya produces an estimated 115,000 metric tonnes of avocados annually, a figure that is about to increase as farmers embrace news.

Kenya is currently the world’s sixth largest exporter of hass avocado. In recent years, the popularity of hass avocados has increased and is driven by the global awareness of their health benefits.

However, there are concerns by stakeholders that Kenyan farmers should not rush to uproot their coffee trees in order to plant Avocado. This is because it takes about two to three years to start producing fruit, and a further two to reach maturity. However, you can inter-crop and later uproot coffee.

If you are looking for a better way to earn from farming contact us.

 

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Common Questions and Answers About Macadamia Farming In Kenya

Macadamia farming in Kenya has taken shape and farmers especially in central region have taken it seriously.

1. How long does Macadamia trees take to produce nuts?

There are several varieties of Macadamia grown in Kenya. However, a grafted tree will usually start to produce in its 3rd or 4th year after planting. The common varieties include Kiambu 3 & 4, Meru 23 & 24, Taita Taveta 1 & 2, Kirinyaga 15 and Murang’a 20. Depending on your area, you should have reasonable nuts after 7 or 8 years.  A seedling tree that is not grafted will usually not produce nuts until it is 7 to 10 years old.

2. What about tree maintenance?

Macadamias are a low maintenance tree and will grow in almost any soil type, as long as it is not water logged.  It is a forest tree native to Queensland Australia and likes a good mulch.  The main pest in is the green vegetable bug, attacking the young nuts and causing black spots on the nut kernel.  Long grass and seeds are known to harbor these bugs, keeping grass short or having it grazed by sheep and poultry will help.

More recently the guava moth has also become a problem pest with pheromone traps and spraying the only solution at the moment.  Organic growers and the majority of smaller growers take the risk of loosing some of their crop, in a bad year up to 30% by not spraying.  If you decide to spray, then 3 times a season will do the job, starting 3 weeks after flowering at intervals of about 3 weeks.

3. Can macadamias be pruned?

Yes, but be aware there are 2 types of trees, Droppers and stickers and pruning varies for each type.

Macadamias will stand quite heavy pruning.  The aim when pruning is to keep the tree to a manageable height (3 to 4 meters).  Do this by cutting strong leaders out of a sticker type tree or pruning the outside of a dropper variety.  This will open up the interior of the tree to light, air and bees to help with pollination, particularly because Macadamias tend to flower into the center of the tree.

In short, keep the tree low and open on the inside to aid pollination and to make picking easier.  Reduce multiple forks to a maximum of two to avoid the incidence of wind damage.

4. When are macadamia in Kenya ready for picking?

For varieties which do not drop their nuts, the simplest way is to look at the lining of the husk after the shortest day of the year.  When the lining has turned deep brown, to about the same color as the nut inside, the crop is ready for picking.  Depending on the weather and position of the trees this can be as late as April.  Beware, trees can drop (abort) quite a lot of nuts if stressed by drought, these nuts will be immature and can be mistaken as ripe.

Earn more than 10 million per acre with 40k investment.

5. What to do after picking

Below are a few things you should do after picking. However, in Kenya most companies will buy the nuts while still at the tree and they will carry them to the processing plant.

  • Remove the husks preferably within 24 to 48 hours of picking.
  • Bag the fresh nuts in 10kg onion sacks and hang them in an airy and shaded position (open carport is ideal), for a 3 month minimum.  Hang them out of the reach of rats and mice who love chewing through them.  During drying the nuts will loose about 15% of their weight.
    Larger or Commercial growers will tend have a drying room with heat up to 350C lots of air movement and dehumidifiers operating.
  • Once dry, store them on or near the hot water cylinder for a minimum of 3 weeks.  The additional weight loss after this drying will be approximately 10% (a dehumidifier can be very helpful).
    Larger growers will have dried them to below 3% moisture in their drying rooms ready for cracking as required.
  • Once fully dry and ready for cracking (less then 3% moisture) .  The kernel will ideally be rattling in the shell and above all, will be crunchy and sweet.

The above process is meant for those who plant macadamia for own consumption. However, commercial macadamia farmers who intend to make money sell their nuts to companies such as Jungle nuts, Sasini, Kakuzi etc..

6. Do macadamias nuts last long?

All nuts deteriorate over time, however macadamias ‘in shell’ will last for a couple of years in a dark, cool and airy place.  After cracking, the kernels will last for about six months if kept in an airtight and moisture proof container. Larger growers with vacuum seal kernels or Nitrogen purge and pressure seal bags to keep the kernels fresh for a considerable time.

If you have any other questions about macadamia growing please contact us and we will do our best to help you.

 

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Kenya becomes the world’s third greatest producer of Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia Nuts

In the 80’s and 90’s, Kenya used to grow Macadamia trees to offer shade for their coffee bushes. Today farmers are gaining too much from the nuts that they are now abandoning the bushes. Kenya, formerly known for its Arabica coffee, is gaining global recognition for its Macadamia nuts, with production rising to a record this year.

According to Nawiri Agribusiness EPZ Ltd, rise to becoming the third world’s biggest producer of these nuts is being driven by growing demand in China. Farmgate this year have risen to as high as Ksh 200 per kg and can only go high.

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Contrary to Macadamia, coffee farmers are operating at a loss, with their beans earning an average of 50 Kg per Kilo. Farmers are discovering that macadamia is gold.  Wherever coffee is grown, the nuts also grows and farmers are now aware of the opportunity with them.” Kenyan coffee production has dwindled after years of mismanagement by the industry regulator to 38,620 tonnes last year from a peak of 130,000 tonnes in 1989.

According to reaserch conducted by Nawiri, macadamia production increased 5% to 41,614 tonnes, after growing more than 20 per cent over the preceding two years. At current prices, last year’s macadamia crop was worth Sh7.49 billion.

On the other hand, according to Nairobi Coffee Exchange, coffee industry earned sh15.9 bilion last year. Farmers in Kiambu, Meru, Embu, Murang’a, and Kirinyaga – highland regions that surround Mt Kenya, the source of the volcanic soil that suffuses Kenyan coffee with its strong acidic and fruity notes – are now the biggest producers of the nuts in the country. Increasing output helped Kenya overtake the US as the third-biggest producer in 2013, a position it has held since then. Australia produced 14,100 tonnes of nut kernels last year, compared with South Africa’s 13,383 tonnes and Kenya’s 5,795 tonnes, according to the Reus, Spain-based International Nut & Dried Fruit Council.

The US is the biggest importer of shelled nuts, followed by China and Japan. Producers exported 31,187 tonnes in 2016, more than double shipments made a decade earlier. Kenya’s production is expected to increase within the next four years when saplings with better yields mature.

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Large scale Farmers of Macadamia

Agricultural companies listed in NSE, such as Kakuzi Plc and Sasini Plc have also joined the small scale farmers in diversifying into the high-value nuts which are eaten raw, roasted or added to confectionery. Macadamia oil, which is unsaturated and cholesterol-free, is used mainly in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Kakuzi has been producing kernels since 2016, having planted macadamia trees where it once had coffee. Macadamia sales more than doubled to Sh371.6 million last year, according to its latest annual report, making the nuts the company’s second-biggest earner after avocados. Smaller rival Sasini, which has been growing coffee since the colonial era that ended in 1963, constructed a nut-processing factory that crushed its first nuts this year. Both these new lines of business, macadamia and avocado, show a lot of promise and the respective industries are thriving globally. Kenya now has 27 licensed macadamia processors, from just five in 2013.

Unlike coffee, which was managed and marketed by government agencies, macadamia industry is owned by private sector who if given right guidelines are capable of helping farmers get their rightful share.

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Why coffee farmers are encouraged to inter-crop with macadamia nuts

Coffee was once a major cash crop for Kenyan farmers but of late things have changed as trees such as  macadamia nad avocado are replacing both tea and coffee. Coffee crops are incredibly sensitive to temperature changes. Increasing temperatures world-wide could make it difficult to grow coffee. Farmers have tried to lower the temperature for coffee plants by inter-cropping them with shade trees. But so far, they haven’t been very successful. The trees provided too much shade and competed with the coffee plants for nutrients. The farmers lost money because they didn’t produce as much coffee.

A perfect match would be a tree that provides the right amount of shade. It would ideally also be a tree that produced a second cash crop.

Researchers have realized that coffee inter-cropped with macadamia trees is a ‘perfect marriage.’ This partnership benefits the coffee plants and improves environmental conditions. It also provides a considerable source of income to coffee producers.  According to research conducted in Brazil, the researchers discovered that the two crops were cooperating, and the union could help farmers economically.

Read: Best Agribusiness For the Youth to Engage in Kenya

Advantages of inter-cropping coffee with Macadamia

Currently, 90% of Kenyan coffee farms grow coffee as a mono-crop. But based on the current trends, more farmers may decide to inter-crop with macadamia trees. The research found that farmers could use several varieties of macadamia in the inter-cropping system. But Muranga 20 macadamia cultivar is the most suitable for inter-cropping with coffee. This variety of macadamia tree provides the best economic result. The economic benefit of this combination is 178% higher than the monocropped coffee.

Muranga 20 is nearly a match made in heaven for intercropping with coffee. It’s a hybrid macadamia developed in Kenya  and has a smaller canopy than other types of macadamia trees. The smaller canopy means it competes less with the coffee plants while still providing shade. The farmers don’t have to prune the trees as often.

But the perks don’t stop there. Intercropping also improves soil fertility. This means farmers can produce more crops with less fertilizers and pesticides. Plus, shaded coffee plantations can reduce water pollution and help decrease the greenhouse effect. With a marriage this good, Kenya, which is the one of the world’s largest producer and exporter of coffee, may also become the largest producer of macadamia.

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Ludovick Karanja is a farmer in Kiambu County who has been planting coffee since 1968. According to Charles Njoroge an Agronomist, coffee can be intercropped with Macadamia. Unlike other trees, macadamia as highlighted above is a commercial tree which also if taken care properly can earn the farmer some income as well as providing shade.

A kilo of Coffee in the current market can give you a range of 70-100 while macadamia sells between 150-220 per kilo. An acre of land can host about 750 coffee bushes and 50-55 trees of macadamia if inter-cropped.

According to Naushad Merali, Group Chair, Sasini Ltd, Sasini Ltd is building a Mega Macadamia processing company as they plan on entering into Macadamia business. Once processed, a kilo of Macadamia can fetch upto Ks 1500 per Kilo.

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Why You should shift gears to Hass avocado and Macadamia farming

Farmers in Kenya have been complaining about market and low prices of their products. Be it maize, beans, coffee, tea or wheat these are common sentiments. This is so because of unpredictable prices, changing weather conditions, and expensive farm inputs.

Organizations and farming companies are offering new farming methods and better options such as Macadamia and Hass avocados.  In areas such as north rift where farmers are known to grow maize, organizations are enlightening farmers on Macadamia farming. The reason NGOs and other interested parties are concerned about North rift is because north rift is because they have fertile extensive lands which they can do large-scale farming.

Sasini, and other companies have invested heavily in North rift where they aim to buy Macadamia nuts and Hass Avocado fruits from farmers.

Hass avocado farming and Macadamia nuts farming is not only a good investment for the farmers but also to the environment as it improves the tree cover. The recommended forest cover in Kenya is 10% while currently its less than 7%.  Another advantage of Macadamia nuts and Hass Avocado is that a farmer will always harvest a fruit as long as he lives and the tree will remain. Unlike planting a tree such as Cyprus or cedar which will be harvested upon maturity.

According to hass avocado and macadamia traders, the market is increasing but there is limitation in production.

Unlike other crops farming, hass and fruit farming does not require much of your time and you can grow them as you still do other things.

Read: How to manage soil to prevent insects and pests

No short cuts for Hass avocado and Macadamia farming

If you are a farmer or you are interested in hass avocado or macadamia nuts farming and you want good production and better prices, don’t cut corners.

How to ensure you increase produce goods fruits, nuts

  • Ensure you plant the right variety (not just avocados or macadamia)
  • Always insist on certified seedlings
  • Maintain good care.

Start with clean and high-quality planting materials for higher yield. You should have known by now that export market requires quality procedure. At Oxfarm, we have quality seedlings (hass avocado and macadamia (Murang’a 20)) that are certified by both HCD and KEPHIS.

Read: Why you shouldn’t Worry about hass avocado Market

Advantages of Grafted Over Non-Grafted hass avocado and Macadamia nuts

  • Grafted do not take too long to mature – they take only 2-3 years to produce fruits while the non-grafted takes 7- 10 years
  • Production is more
  • Grafted trees do not grow as tall as the non-grafted ones

Kenya produces 150, 000 annually where 70% is grown by small-scale farmers. Over time, local market has been the biggest beneficiary but for the last few years things have changed drastically. Farmers are now interested on the export market and have now commercialized and there are more people interested in large scale farming of hass avocado.

Read: How to Boost Your Agribusiness Through Marketing

Don’t be left behind, change gears to tree fruit farming and make money as you still do other things.

 

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Macadamia nuts farming: How to get most returns

Despite macadamia nut tree being a money-making harvest, several farmers don’t receive most returns, attributable to errors of omission and commission.

Though a mature tree will produce between 80kg and 100kg of nuts, most farmers harvest between 30kg and 50kg, and incur needless production prices. Failure to induce most effort is attributed to errors of omission and commission.

According to Oxfarm, an acre of land will hold to 70 Macadamia trees. This could earn a farmer, going by the present government set minimal returns of Ksh70 per kilogram of nuts, up to Ksh 500,000 – 800,000 per acre if a farmer harvest 80Kg per tree, depending on farming practices and favorable climate. At the a harvest, that comes from 2-3 years after transplantation of seedlings, a farmer will fetch between 30kg and 50kg, on 6-8th year reckoning on the range and the attention given to the trees. Production will increase with each harvest.

Due to high competition for the macadamia nuts by process and selling companies; most companies supply improved costs to farmers. This year, some firms offered the maximum amount as Ksh200 per kilogram of nuts, however external market factors forced the costs to drop to a mean of Ksh130 per kilogram.

Macadamia nuts will grow in most areas of the country, however production can vary depending on the number of precipitation, where farmers don’t have any access to irrigation water.

It is vital to consult experts on best varieties for given regions. The well-liked selection is Murang’a 20. It’s hardy and adapts well to completely different climates, with improved production throughout the year. Different varieties manufacture doubly a year.

Macadamia Nuts Farming: Propagation

Where farmers have gotten 50kg and fewer, it implies that there’s a drag typically beginning with propagation of the seed, to the eye and care given to the tree.

Propagation needs plenty of monitoring and doing the proper issue at the proper time, as well as watering and spacing. One should even be trained to confirm that one will differentiate between types of macadamia nuts by looking on them before planting and at the young stage, to making sure that there’s no mistake once marketing the seedlings to farmers.

Ratios of the propagation media, as well as soil, sand and compost manure, are key among different technicalities that decisions for coaching.

Related Post: Farmers already earning more from Macadamia nuts and hass Avocados

Macadamia nuts farming: Timing

Right from the nursery, correct records should be kept. Transplant the seedlings once the plant has 2 full leaves and a bud, whereas guaranteeing that they’re properly uprooted, handled and transported to wherever they’ll be planted in the polyethylene bag.

 

Macadamia nuts farming: Spacing

The recommended spacing is ten by ten meters, that adds up to seventy trees per acre. Congesting the trees affects nuts production, because the branches can meet, so denying them enough sunlight and different needed conditions for flowering and nuts production.

 

Macadamia nuts farming: Management

Macadamia tree
Macadamia tree in Muranga

 

The other mistake that farmers create is to abandon their trees after planting. The trees need weeding, particularly once young. Their shades cannot suppress weeds. Apply manure a minimum of once a year, as robust healthy trees can guarantee you the simplest quality and amount. Use caution with pruning. Do it in a slanting manner, using pruning scissors. Don’t use a machete.

 

Macadamia nuts farming: pests and disease management

The tree is disease-resistant. Some farmers use chemicals to manage pests and insects. That is wrong. Management them using smoke. Light a fire about 2 meters away from the stem, guaranteeing that it’s not large enough to get into the leaves. We recommend pepper and similar robust smoke producing weeds. The bitter smoke can penetrate throughout the macadamia tree and effectively manage pests and insects.

 

Macadamia nuts farming: Harvesting and storage

Many farmers and processors encounter immense losses attributable to poor gathering and post-harvest handling. generally, losses quantity to over ninety per cent. Don’t harvest premature macadamia nuts. Collect them from the ground and deliver them to the market as shortly as possible to avoid touching their quality Storing at home for long can compromise quality.

The nuts can develop molds, just as they do when harvested immature. Harvest and post-harvest are very crucial stages. When harvested, nuts should be stored in raised sisal bags and not polythene bags. Place the sacks on well-laid out timber planks to that ensure they do get into contact with water.

 

Macadamia has a bright future in Kenya, despite the challenges facing the sector. Book your seedlings today.

 

Macadamia seedlings

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WHY YOU SHOULD PLANT AND EAT MACADAMIA NUTS

Macadamias are an underestimated nutrient-powerhouse. A rich source of essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, iron, B vitamins, and folate. They also have a little protein and pack a healthy dose of good fats and antioxidants.  Commonly featured in more indulgent desserts rather than thought of as an everyday health food, macadamias are often skipped for almonds and cashews for a daily snack. But these 10 fascinating health benefits of macadamias will show you why they’re worthy of a regular spot in your healthy nut rotation:

  • Helps To Keep Your Heart Healthy!

These nuts are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats which are said to be cardioprotective by reducing cholesterol level and help to clean the arteries. Macadamia also lowers the level of triglycerides, which is a kind of body fat and reduces the risk of coronary disease.

  • They Fight Free-Radical Damage Leading To Cancers

Another health benefit of macadamia comes from their high flavonoid content. Flavonoids, which are found naturally in these plants help to prevent cells from damage and protects from environmental toxins. These flavonoids convert into antioxidants in our body. These antioxidants search and destroy free radicals and protect our bodies from various diseases and certain types of cancer which include breast, cervical, lung, prostate and stomach cancer.

  • They Curb Your Appetite!

The fat content of macadamias helps to curb your appetite much longer than a sweet treat. Macadamias are also a source of palmitoleic acid which increases fat metabolism and reduces fat storage – bonus! You only need a few to feel satisfied as a snack, so despite their price, you won’t need many to get a hunger-busting, nutrient-rich fix.

  • They Strengthen Your Hair, Skin, And Nails

Macadamias are an excellent source of protein, calcium, potassium, dietary fiber and antioxidants. They are also very low in sodium. all of these factors make them a fabulous beauty food, giving your hair and nails a healthy sheen and your skin a nourished glow!

  • Supports Your Gut Health

That’s right, macadamias contain around 7% dietary fiber, and both the insoluble and soluble types, helping to not only promote satiety, but provide roughage sweeping toxins out of the body, and aiding digestion.

  • Strengthens Your Bones

Phosphorus and magnesium are abundant in macadamias, and play a variety of roles including bone and teeth mineralization, metabolism, absorption and transportation of nutrients. Calcium also helps in the formation of teeth and bones. Manganese in macadamias also help the body to deposit new bone tissue so that the skeleton stays strong as you age.

  • They Look After Your Brain And Nervous System

Macadamias contain copper, B1, magnesium, and manganese which helps to make healthy neurotransmitters, the chemicals which our brain cells use to send chemical signals, and nourish the brain. Copper also helps to ensure proper growth of the body, efficient utilization of iron, proper enzymatic reactions, as well as improved health of connective tissues, hair, and eyes!

  • They are Lower In Inflammation-Causing Omega-6’s

Consuming too many omega-6 fatty acids in our diet can be a contributing factor to chronic inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a variety of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other life-threatening conditions. A handful of nuts a day, or a spread of nut butter in your smoothie is a great way to get added protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. But most nuts tend to be higher in omega-6 fats than omega-3s, which can tip our body into an inflammatory state if we don’t balance it out with omega-3s from other foods too. Macadamias, on the other hand, are much lower in omega-6s. For example, pecans contain 3.7g per 100g, almonds 3.4g, and cashews 2.2g compared to 0.36g macadamias.

The incidence of heart disease is significantly lower in people who eat nuts regularly (more than five times per week) than in those who eat nuts less than once a week. So why not include some of these nutritious macadamias and start reaping their benefits today!

There is no better way of having the above benefits other than planting your own Macadamia nuts. You can book for seedlings today from Oxfarm organic Ltd and we will take you through how you can plat them and get the best out of them.

 

Also Read: make money through passion fruit farming

We have modern grafted varieties which matures first (less than tree years).

Visit our offices or contact us today and book.

 

Macadamia seedlings

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IS MACADAMIA THE CENTRAL-KENYA GOLD-MINE?

Kenya is sitting on a gold mine that if properly utilized would reap huge benefits for its people. For many years, tea and coffee farming in central Kenya and other parts of the nation has been the major source of income for thousands of farmers, however the macadamia nut farming wave is overwhelming and they are now changing tides and switching to macadamia farming.

Macadamia nuts has become a lucrative produce all over sudden with a kilo of the nuts selling for more than a hundred and a grafted seedling price shooting up from 300 to 500 Kenya Shillings. Between1986 to 2002 the price ranged between 7 to 23 Shillings per kg., and in 2005 it averaged 80 Shillings per Kg. For a long time, Kenya has been ranked second in production of Macadamia worldwide after Australia.

According to Dr. Lusike A. Wasilwa, Assistant Director Horticultural & Industrial Crops, Kenya Agricultural Research and Livestock Organization (KARLO), Macadamia would do better if its production is fully optimized. “Kenya Macadamia nut is the king of the nuts; it is going to be known in the World as the most expensive chef meal.

It makes the food taste very nice; as it has 72% of natural oil. It enhances other tastes in salads, cakes, cookies, chocolates, biscuits to mention but a few; making them pronounce. Its oil is natural, no perfume, not greasy, not shiny but a natural sunscreen that have anti-aging nutrients, anti-dandruffs, anti-ringworms thus very best for lotions.” Dr. Lusike affirmed adding that the most expensive lipstick is made from macadamia.

 

Related Post: Future state of Grapes in Kenya

 

 ORIGIN OF MACADAMIA

Macadamia is an old industry introduced into the country in 1942 from Australia. In 1960 the Government had an elaborate program of promoting macadamia from seeds that were planted and nurseries set up. These seed nuts were brought as shade crop for coffee to perform better in reduced temperature. In 1966 a lot of nuts had been planted in Central- Kirinyaga, Kiambu and Muranga, Eastern- Meru and Embu, Kakamega- Bukula and Bungoma – ADC.

The Japanese in 1972 realized that this is a plant they could help develop thus they brought an expert through JICA to help in selection of varieties that were good from the many different varieties that existed from the originally planted seed nuts. These scientists were based at Thika Horticulture Research Institute then known as National Horticulture Research Centre. They selected 30 varieties with high potential from different zones of the country; from the coffee main zones, from dry zones and from the highlands. An analysis was done in 1986 and Macadamia Development project was set at Practical Training Centre.

From the 30 varieties, 3 grades were selected, whereby the higher the oil contents in the macadamia the higher the grade but also the size in relation to market mattered. “It was the earliest research commodity in response to the market; for most of other commodities, they are bred for high agronomic yields but for macadamia it was the varieties that would fit a zone for example Murang’a 2. It has good yields; big nuts, thus I used to call it African nut”, Lusike explains.

Other varieties selected include Kiambu 3 & 4, Meru 23 & 24, Taita Taveta 1 & 2, Kirinyaga 15 and Murang’a 20, which until today is one of the best with very wide adaptability.

Macadamia is a beautiful tree, very forgiving; resilient to all weather, accommodative for old people; they don’t need to work so hard nor climb to pick the nuts but wait for them to fall. The other thing that makes Macadamia feasible product is the fact that the farmers can market their produce. “Macadamia is the only produce that the price is determined at the pick-up that is collecting it as per the wish of the farmer. ” Dr. Lusike indicates.

Currently, macadamia nut farmers sell their products to brokers who link them with processing companies such as Kenya farm nut companies amid others. A macadamia nut processing company was built in Karurina area of Embu County sometime back but it has never started working. Macadamia nuts can be eaten raw or processed to produce cooking fat.

Macadamia tree is permanent unless affected by a disease like powdery mildew at flowering stage. Production starts at three and a half years for grafted varieties and seven years for local varieties. The main varieties planted in Embu region are Murang’a 20 which has been branded the name Mugumo in the area because of its good performance. It has a tendency of producing a few nuts year through after the
main season and is the best yielding variety. The tree can produce an optimum of 70kgs under good management. the macadamia nut trees should be planted at a spacing of 7.5m by 7.5m.

According to Dr. Lusike, its seeds are a valuable food crop that is sweet when eaten raw. “It is good for the kids who love them.” She adds. Only three of the species, Macadamia integrifolia, Macadamia ternifolia, and Macadamia tetraphylla, are of commercial importance. Only two of these three species (Macadamia integrifolia and Macadamia tetraphylla can be eaten raw. The remainder of the genus possesses poisonous and/or inedible seeds, such as M. whelanii and M. ternifolia; the toxicity is due to the presence of cyanogenic glycosides.

These glycosides can be removed by prolonged leaching, a practice used by some Indigenous Australian peoples for these species, as well. Compared with other common edible seeds such as almonds and cashews, macadamias are high in fat and low in protein. They have the highest amount of monounsaturated fats of any known seed and contain approximately 22% of omega-7 palmitoleic acid which has biological effects like monounsaturated fat. They also contain 9% protein, 9% carbohydrate, and 2% dietary fiber, as well as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, selenium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.

Macadamia has great potential for poverty reduction due to the high value of its products and its low requirement for external inputs and a lot need to be done to improve the industry. Although the crop has been grown in the country for over 5 decades, the growth of the industry is not commensurate with the demand and market potential that exists.

Some of the challenges facing the macadamia industry in Kenya include lack of cultivars adapted to various agro-ecological zones, inadequate planting materials of high quality, high cost of the available good quality planting materials and pests and diseases that affect nuts thus lowering post-harvest quality.

The potential of agricultural biotechnology is relevant to genetic improvement of macadamia to compliment other efforts for its productivity and value. The beauty of macadamia is that it gives food nutrition security to children. The farmers say the product fetches better prices than coffee and tea regardless of how often they are harvested. Get our certified seedlings.

 

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Macadamia seedlings