Story by Tapiwa Machemedze
A Mvurwi farmer has broken new ground, venturing into the lucrative macadamia production field while opening avenues for other farmers in Mashonaland Central province to take up the practice predominantly practised in the Eastern highlands.
After being inspired by Macadamia farmers in Chipinge, Chimanimani and Limpopo in South Africa, Tsitsi and Jefta Mugweni of Makumbiri farm took a bold decision to embark on macadamia nut production in Mvurwi, Mazowe district.
Five years later, their labour is bearing fruit and the couple is eyeing value addition.
“The Objective of this day is to showcase our macadamia plantation set up in 2018 as you can see here is the nursery that came from the seed of the 10 hectares planted five years ago. Our objective is to prove also that this plant is not limited to Eastern highlands. We are showcasing two things, a 10-hectare plantation and a nursery.
“We also want to develop a plantation beyond 10 hectares. We looking at growing 30 to 60 hectares in the next five years. We are also looking at value addition and want to produce things like oils, soap, and chocolates,” said Mr Jefta Mugweni.
The development of a nursery has created opportunities for potential macadamia growers in Mashonaland Central to access seeds nearby instead of travelling to Chipinge.
“We have rooted macadamia which has a tap root. I am very proud to sell these nurseries and also we are going to use scions like what the agronomist said,” said Mrs Tsitsi Mugweni.
Zimbabwe’s trade promotion body Zimtrade is encouraging farmers to venture into value addition as it is more profitable.
Trade statistics show that macadamia is a billion-dollar industry with neighbouring South Africa rated the highest producer and selling US$300 million worth of the product. Zimbabwean macadamia exports totalled US$18 million in 2022.