The macadamia market is constantly growing: indeed, the nutritional virtues it provides makes the macadamia nut a fruit very much in demand.
"The success is such that today the macadamia nut is the most expensive nut in the world with a price varying around 60$/kg (R900). This infatuation has naturally pushed producers to convert and move towards this new crop," explains Simon Dufossez from Leger SAS.
This is what South African arboriculturists have been doing for more than 20 years, a trend that has increased relatively over the last 5 years with strong demand from the Asian and European markets.
"South Africa is now the world's leading producer, neck and neck with Australia. But to keep up with this strong growth, it is important for producers to equip themselves with tools that are properly adapted to this crop, which provides increased performance that goes beyond manual labour. Particularly since the association representing macadamia producers has set itself the challenge of producing nearly 300 tonnes of macadamia per year by 2030."
LEGER SAS, allows producers to do more, faster, and with fewer with their macadamia harvester. The agricultural machinery company, based in the South-West of France in the middle of plum and hazelnut orchards, specialises in arboriculture (nut and stone fruit) and viticulture. If the harvester has already proven itself on the hazelnut market in France, Spain, Italy and Albania, it is also adapted to the expectations of the macadamia market.
"The agricultural sector, both in South Africa and France, is facing many challenges, both financially and in terms of sustainability. There has been an increase in the wages of agricultural workers (+4.5% in March) which is not in line with the weak evolution of producers' incomes. Our objective with the Nut Harvester was to develop a tool and a system that can help reduce these stress factors and participate in the global reach of the nuts by providing useful operational solutions capable of supporting the workers. With harvesting still too often carried out by hand, the Nut Harvester is the future of harvesting and will have an immediate impact on the lives of nut growers. "
The Nut Harvester is a towed machine suitable for picking nuts on the ground: hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, etc. It uses a subtle harvesting system with a Pick-Up roller made up of combs and rubber bands, and a variable speed bar belt for collection. Thus, with a constant speed of 4 km/h, it can harvest between 3 and 4 hectares per hour. Moreover, with a directional rear axle, the adjustment of the belt speed and the side wheels, it can to adapt to all types of orchards and soils.
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