Benefits of growing the tree

Video 'Macadamia in Malawi'
Ken of HIMACUL describes the benefits of planting macadamia trees

Macadamia in Malawi
My name is Ken Mkengala. I am an office manager for Ntchisi Macadamia Office.
Ntchisi has been chosen because of its high altitude that is why it is suitable for macadamia growing.
For the altitude we are talking in the range of 500 m to 1500 m above sea level.
For some one who has never never grown macadamia, the first thing you should know is macadamia is a very high value crop.
Economically a farmer should really benefit by growing macadamia.
Once planted in an area it will contribute to soil conservation and water conservation.
In general it will conserve the environment.
The second thing to know is that macadamia does not require a lot of inputs to grow it, so even with minimal management even with just organic matter applied a farmer should be able to get a yield.
The only problem that farmers are facing is that the seed gives a crop that gives them yield or return after 3 or 4 years, so farmers are not very ready to wait for that period - that's the only problem.
But the farmers who have done this [planted macadamia] are realising the benefits of growing the crop.
The growing of macadamia does not necessarily prohibit farmers from growing other crops.
Even the spacing of this crop is so wide the farmer can also grow other crops in between, so the farmer can produce a lot of crops from one piece of land.
Elias: "I have to keep healthy and macadamia will be the pension for my life."
Ellsy: "When I first saw those macadamia trees I tested them and found that they were very nice to eat. So I gave the trees to my children to plant. When you eat the nuts you get strong and when you give it to an unhealthy child he changes and gets healthy."

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The Malawian smallholder is seeking to secure a future with long term crops such as macadamia.

Macadamia, also know as the Queensland nut, originated in Australia. The plant was introduced into Malawi onto the tea plantations in 1968 where it flourished. It is now a major export income earner.

Clonal trees of the Macadamia Integrefolia variety are grown. The other generally known variety is Macadamia Tetraphilla.

Trees are produced in nurseries by grafting accepted clones on to young seedlings, and they mature at around twelve years. They grow best using compost covered with mulch, and this fact makes macadamia a good smallholder tree as expensive inorganic fertilizers can do more harm than good.

The nuts mature annually, and fall to the ground where they are regularly harvested and then air dried in shade.

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