For years, growing macadamia nuts in Kenya seemed like a thing for wealthier, more sophisticated farmers. Traditional farmers seemed to focus more on other crops. Lately, however, the farming community has been embracing macadamia. In Nakuru County, for instance, where smallholder farmers were mostly known for producing potatoes and tomatoes, more and more of them have taken to producing this nut.
The growing interest in the crop has seen several county governments incorporating it in their crop diversification programs. Nakuru County Government recently distributed 12,000 macadamia seedlings to more than 600 farmers.
This comes against a backdrop of increasing global demand for nut-based diets, in which macadamias are quite well represented. This is driven by changing consumption patterns in Europe, including a rising demand for healthier snacking options and vegetable protein. Consumers are also seeking new consumption experiences, which macadamia nuts can offer in the form of milk, pastes and butters, in addition to its traditional consumption formats.
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