Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
National export development and promotion agency, ZimTrade, is scaling up collaborations with farmers to boost local production and exports of the globally highly sought after macadamia nuts to at least US$52 million annually.
Global demand for macadamia nuts has been on a rapid increase in the last decade with the Trade Map saying the period from 2013 to 2019 has seen global macadamia nuts trade rising from US$400 million to US$962 million, signifying a 109 percent growth.
The growth is attributed to people’s preference for alternative sources of protein in the place of meat due to health consciousness.
Zimbabwe is thus angling to tap into this growing market and the target also falls within the country’s National Export Strategy which is aimed at gearing the economy towards upper middle income earning status in 2030 as envisaged by President Mnangagwa.
As of 2019, Zimbabwe’s macadamia nuts proceeds amounted to US$20,6 million, itself a substantial increase from US$15,5 million in 2015.
“The National Export Strategy identifies the horticulture sector as one of the priority sectors and macadamia are a low hanging fruits,” said ZimTrade Chief Executive Officer Mr Allan Majuru. “As ZimTrade, we want to see a 10 percent plus growth of macadamia exports, translating to US$30 million by 2023 and US$52 million by 2030.
“In our provincial cluster development, we have identified Manicaland as a macadamia cluster and we are working with more local farmers to achieve this targeted growth. Our export promotion department is ready to facilitate engagements between local producers and International buyers,” he said.
Mr Majuru said at the present, local farmers are failing to satisfy the international order book for the nuts.
Research has also shown that Zimbabwe’s climatic conditions are best suited for the cultivation of the sought after nuts and with the right investment and planning Zimbabwe can become a major global macadamia nuts producer.