Zimbabwe: Macadamia growers claim middlemen are ‘ripping them off’

Zimbabwean macadamia nut producers claim to have suffered heavy losses in the last marketing season due to poor prices paid by the middlemen. Because of too many middlemen, and with farmers having challenges in directly accessing the markets abroad, producing macadamia seems to be becoming less viable.

Prices in China, the country's largest market for macadamia, ranged between US$8 and US$12 per kilogram last season. James Maisiri, the secretary general of Macadamia Association of Zimbabwe: "The middlemen are saying China is now producing the nuts and prices have gone down. The situation was worse this year because some were buying at just US$1 per kg. ... The highest price was US$3. We failed to break even."

Maisiri said local farmers are now looking for alternative markets. He said two large South African companies have expressed interest.  In recent years, Zimbabwe has witnessed a huge appetite for macadamia nuts production in Chimanimani and Chipinge districts in the Manicaland Province, but poor prices are forcing farmers to switch to less technically challenging crops.

Source: herald.co.zw


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