As demand for macadamia and avocados grows locally and internationally, there is no short cut for farmers seeking the best market and prices. One must get it right when it comes to varieties, seedlings and fruits, especially if planning to sell in the export market. It is important for a farmer to start with clean and high-quality planting materials to get higher yields. The export market requires quality produce, that is why it is not advisable to buy seedling from roadside sellers. Avocado can virtually grow well in all parts of the country apart from the coastal region due to salinity.
Sasini Venture into Avocado And Macadamia Farming
According to Business Daily, Jan, 2018, listed agriculture firm Sasini has joined its rival Kakuzi in growing macadamia and avocado for export as part of a diversification plan meant to cushion the business from fluctuating coffee and tea earnings. Sasini, which primarily grows coffee and tea, has set aside 200 acres of its land to grow avocado in Nandi and Sotik but has for the past six months been exporting fruits sourced from independent farmers.
The firm is also planting macadamia on a similar size of land in Kiambu, Ruiru and Mweiga as it prepares to commission its Sh500 million factory in Kiambu for processing the commodity starting April. According to the managing director, the demand for both crops is higher than supply at the moment.
Kakuzi exported 7,102 tonnes of avocado and 476 tonnes of macadamia in 2016, according to the firm’s latest annual report.
Grafted Macadamia Trees
Related Post: The benefits of certified fruit seedlings
Grafted macadamia trees, according to Oxfarm Organic Limited, start bearing fruits after two years. They also produce 50kg to 200kg per season of nuts by the time they reach five years.
Non-grafted macadamia trees start bearing nuts after seven years producing between 7 to 10kg in the first year. By the time the tree is five years, it can only produce up to 50kg per season.
The trees flower from August to September and further development of the fruit lasts 31 weeks. They are disease and pest-resistant and can be produced successfully in areas where avocados, papaws, mangoes and bananas do well.
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