The Eastern Cape government-funded Ncerha Macadamia Farm harvested 58 tons of high-export macadamia nuts during this year’s harvest despite the crippling drought.
This is the farm’s fifth harvest in four years. The 2013 harvest yielded just 8.7 tons but last year, that number went up to 80 tons.
The state has invested R147-million into the project to date, with 151 people having been employed.
Rural development and agrarian reform MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane said: “In order for us to benefit from the inheritance of our country, there must be peace and safety for our people. I am here to say ‘let us promote this idea and preserve what had been started and protect these orchards for generations to come’. We need to leave behind something great for our sweat.”
Qoboshiyane said while South Africa’s macadamia nut industry is now in second place globally after being surpassed by Australia due to the drought in the country, things would turn around.
With 20ha already planted, the remaining 9ha will be planted next month to reach the target of 30ha in total.
Apart from the harvest, the farm also launched its first annual harvest festival, which will be held next month.
The festival will celebrate community achievements within the macadamia industry, broaden macadamia production knowledge in rural communities and further help them to grow economically.
Locals will exhibit their arts and crafts at the festival from September 8 to 10.
The multimillion-rand government-funded festival will offer 130 food stalls, local entertainment and a kids area.
Ncera Macadamia Farming director Mkhululi Pakade said they would also be launching a garden of remembrance and goodwill to be named after the traditional leader of the area, Nkosi Nobhotwe Jongilanga.
“This will be a 5ha piece of land dedicated to planting more than 1200 macadamia trees which can be donated by visitors and friends of the Ncera community.
“The proceeds of these trees will be used towards education for kids with special needs in the area.” — firstname.lastname@example.org