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Friday, May 24, 2024

Zvishavane farmers venture into macadamia production

Story by Courage Bushe

SMALLHOLDER farmers in the Zvishavane District under Masunda area are defying the odds after venturing into the lucrative macadamia nuts production through harnessing modern farming techniques.

Falling under regions four and five, Zvishavane District is popularly known for the production of traditional grains due to erratic rainfall patterns.

However, farmers in the region are rewriting the script and defying the odds by venturing into macadamia nuts production, making use of modern farming techniques.

After attending a field school on macadamia nuts production in the Masunda area this Friday, farmers have high hopes for the cash crop.

Macadamia Empowerment Group Association promoter Mr Elvis Nyanhongo noted that the initiative is meant to change people’s lives, especially in rural communities.

“A tree can produce between 30 and 50kg if well maintained. Currently, good quality nuts are selling at US$4 per kg, meaning that from a single plant, a farmer can realise US$120 to US$200 at peak harvest. With 20 plants, one household can earn between US$2 400 to US$4 000 per harvest which is enough to transform and urbanise rural areas,” he said.

Zvishavane District Agritex Officer Mrs Ellen Chivi noted that macadamia production dovetails with the government’s thrust of empowering citizens for improved livelihoods.

“As the government embarks on a thrust of leaving no one and no place behind, making agriculture a lucrative business, we are urging farmers to come on board and enjoy the benefits of producing high-valued nuts,” she said.

Dubbed the green diamond, macadamia nuts are viewed as a lucrative cash crop due to their multiple uses, international market value, and decade’s long harvesting lifespan.

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