Limpopo macadamia farm initiative on educational drive aimed at aspiring farmers

Limpopo macadamia farm initiative on educational drive aimed at aspiring farmers

A macadamia farm near Louis Trichardt, Limpopo, has partnered with a private funding organization to educate aspiring farmers about the dynamics and benefits of macadamia cultivation.
South Africa is one of the largest producers of the nuts in the world, and more young people are becoming involved.
The macadamia nut is a highly profitable agricultural crop. Its high input and operating costs, on the other hand, have proven to be a stumbling hurdle for new farmers. Locals can learn how to plant and care for macadamia nut trees at the Madimbo Farm in Mashau, near Ellim in Louis Trichardt.
According to Gene Likhanya, a macadamia farming expert, there is a need for instruction.
“Alot of people need the guidance –  seeing visually how a macadamia farm looks like, how things are from the irrigation, getting to see the farm, getting to see the tree,” says Likhanya.
“More importantly for them to see that any land can be used as long as you can plant something and take care of it,” adds Likhanya.
The 88 hectare Madimbo farm employs over 30 people. It currently sells its produce to local markets.
Funding entity Livestock Wealth is throwing its weight behind the project. Livestock Wealth’s Chief Executive Officer, Ntutuko Shezi says a lot of resources are required to grow macadamia nut trees.
“Growing macadamia is expensive, it takes six years for the tree to grow that means the farmer needs six years wages, fuel, etc. That is where we come in –  allowing private investors to own one of these trees. We buy it from the farmer and six years later the farmers buy it back from us at a profit,” says Shezi.
Local people have expressed keen interest in exploiting the long-term benefits of macadamia farming.
“We are here to learn about how to plant macadamia and how to grow it. Macadamia is something that we should learn especially us black people. We did not know about it but on a daily basis we are learning,”says one of the local people.

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