Global Tea and Commodities Limited Chairperson, Nadeem Ahmed has expressed optimism that its partnership with local smallholder farmers shall realize the fruits of macadamia nuts farming.
Ahmed said this during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Global Tea and International Finance Corporation (IFC) with 3000 local macadamia nut growers to improve their financial literacy and strengthen farming operations.
“On gender perspective, at least half of the 3000 macadamia farmers are women and IFC intends to work with the macadamia nuts cooperatives nationwide so that their management capacity is enhanced whilst efficiently serving and supporting smallholders resourcefully,” Ahmed said.
Ahmed said considering that agriculture remains Malawi’s mainstay economically, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is dedicated to providing viable commercial opportunities to advance inclusive macadamia nuts farming for both males and females.
He said Global Tea shall tirelessly work with local smallholder farmers to facelift their daily livelihoods through macadamia nuts farming activities; but was quick to disclose that the crop takes not less than a decade before it becomes of commercial value.
Ahmed, however, said the beauty with the crop was that it is easily intercropped and planted at very reasonable distance; thereby, enabling the smallholder farmer to plant other cash crops to sustain them whilst waiting for macadamia to mature.
Said Ahmed: “At continental level Kenya leads in production of the commercial crop followed by Ghana with Malawi being the seventh largest producer. Malawi has the potential to be on third position once the partnership becomes more sustainable.”
Earlier, Kenya-based IFC Management Advisor, Manuel Moses said IFC is providing capacity building or advisory platform for over 3000 local macadamia nuts smallholder farmers to improve the macadamia nut commercial farming among locals.
Moses said the capacity building focuses greatly on Malawi and other smallholder farmers within African states. He underscored the need to take macadamia nuts production as a vibrant investment and not a mere subsistence crop.
On this, he disclosed that Global Tea and Commodities Limited remains the largest coffee and one of its top macadamia producers which has become connected to the locals through the existing Sable Farming Limited situated at Mapanga along Limbe-Zomba Road.
In her remarks, IFC Senior Manager for Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services Advisory, Tania Lozansky said the organization will leverage its expertise in a bid to strengthen smallholder supply chains to empower Malawian farmers to benefit from the long-term relationship with the Global Tea.
Lozansky added that IFC is committed to supporting the nation’s agriculture sector, smallholder farmers, in particular, considering its commercial value to the country’s economy.
She also said the project is aimed at supporting smallholder farmers in Thyolo and Mzimba districts where; ‘rolling hills and favourable growing conditions produce crunchy, tasty and palatable macadamia nuts.’Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :