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.
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
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.