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 300kg 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 Organic Ltd, 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 Ksh1,470,000 per acre if a farmer harvest 80Kg per tree, depending on farming practices and favorable climate. At the primary harvest, that comes 2 years after transplantation of seedlings, a farmer will fetch between 30kg and 50kg, 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
people; they don’t need to work so hard nor climb to pick the nuts but wait for them to fall. The macadamia nut tree is indigenous to Australia but introduced in Kenya in 1945 to 1948. In Kenya, it grows roughly in the same climate suitable for growing coffee.
The grafted seedling takes 3-4 months to be ready for planting out in the farm. Seedlings are planting out in the field at a spacing of 9m x 9m or 10 m x 10 m or more if the trees are
intercropped with coffee or any other crop e.g. maize; however, if they are being planted as pure orchard, the spacing should be 4m x 10 m or 5 m x 10 m.
Kenya is sitting on a gold mine that if properly utilized would reap huge benefits for the country.
For many years, tea and coffee farming has been the major source of income for thousands of
farmers, however they are now changing tides and switching to macadamia nut farming.
Macadamia 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.
The Kenya macadamia nut industry is currently made of approximately 900,000 trees of varying ages from one year to 20 years, grown by over 100,000 small scale farmers with an average of 6 -12 trees per grower. Annual production is about 4,000 metric tons of nuts-in-shell. These produce about 800 metric tons of marketable kernels, making the main commercial product. Other by products such as oil, are minimal. Producers get from nuts-in-shell Shillings 92 million per year.
Kenya is the third largest macadamia producer and the second largest exporter of macadamias. Many Kenyan farmers are integrating macadamia trees into their coffee and tea plantations. They view macadamia output as insurance against the uncertainties of weather which affect coffee and tea.
Passion fruit grows in warm to cool climates within altitude ranging from 1200-2000m. above sea level and minimum rainfall of 900mm per annum. The most suitable soil is medium texture (loamy), which are deep and well drained, with PH ranging from 5.5-7.5.
The apricot favors well drained soil but doesn’t like to be too dry especially in the summer. Providing a happy medium between the two will be key to success and it is up to you to judge the type of soil you already have and influence the structure as much as you can. Too light or sandy then pep it up with lots and lots of organic rich material. Too weighty or sluggish then alleviate it with lots of grit, sharp sand and leaf mold.
The soil should be well cultivated and friable; double dig-it over if it has not been cultivated before. Clear away all perennial weeds because the last thing you want is added competition from them when your trees are in settled, and growing.
Prepare a hole large enough to take the roots. Apricots are vigorous growers and you may find the root system larger than that of other trees. Set the tree to the same depth as it was at the nursery previously – examination of the stem should reveal the soil mark still identifiable and this will tell you how deeply it was set in the ground before. In any event the grafting point should sit above the soil level and the roots buried in not less than 2” of soil.