Beautifying Eastern Cape landscape

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MACADAMIA farming is a new concept in the Eastern Cape. The first macadamia plantations in South Africa are in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

South Africa is the second biggest macadamias producer in the world with approximately 25000ha of production land shared between the four provinces (based on the latest stats from SAMAC).

GOING NUTS: The Ncera Macadamia Harvest Festival is your chance to see these beautiful plantations and all that goes into the farming

Buffalo City metropolitan is home to the first macadamia plantations in the Eastern Cape and a site for the development of the first community-owned macadamia processing factory in South Africa.

Macadamias just like the vineyards are well known for beautifying the landscape, triggering a tourism demand and creating sustainable jobs by virtue of the trees’ long productive life (100+ years).

The South African macadamia nut industry is currently dominated by commercial farmers, with the global demand for the nuts far exceeding the supply. For the first time in the country, and through a unique business model, communities are now able to participate in this lucrative industry. This makes the Ncera community-owned macadamia plantations a true pioneer and a major success story for the Eastern Cape.

Ncera is the first community-owned macadamia site for the country that is based on this model. This rural site has become the living case study for this ground-breaking and innovative model whereby the value chain is destined to be owned by rural communities and their private sector partners.

The model is time tested over 10 years and is recognised as a template for empowerment and economic development for rural communities.

Word of this success has spread to other communities in the province and beyond with the Amajingqi communities in Willowvale under Chief Dumalisile being the second community in South Africa to mirror the Ncera macadamia business model.

The Ncera plantation is well publicised and is frequently visited by delegations from all levels of government, the private sector and university scholars. The big attraction is how the business was organised and how ordinary people were turned into Macadamia experts, and how this model will be a catalyst in turning around the rural economy.

This world-class macadamia plantation provides a scenic landscape that is a catalyst for tourism development, much like the vineyards in the Western Cape. This provides an opportunity to create a new agro-tourism node along the rural coastal belt of BCMM and the wild coast.

It is within this overall context that the macadamia growing communities firmly believe that a significant opportunity exists to put South Africa, BCMM and Ncera macadamia farming on the world map.

The Ncera Macadamia Harvest Festival takes place on September 9 and 10.

The Festival will be held in Ncera, a beautiful area near Kaysers beach. The site for the festival allows visitors to view the beautiful orchards and landscapes of the Ncera area. Guests will have the opportunity to go on guided tours of the orchards and plantations with expert-led talks on the macadamia growing process – a great learning experience for the whole family.

There will be a great local entertainment line-up with crafts and food stalls, kiddies inflatables and beer tent for the dads. Entry is only R20, the gates open at 9am on Saturday and Sunday and the event runs till 4pm. On Saturday there will be a 5km and 10 km fun run with registrations from 9am. There are free shirts for the first 200 entries, so contact Steph Smith 076-403-6312 / e-mail: tagan006agmail.com. This trail run will take on a whole new light as participants will be allowed to run through the beautiful orchards of macadamia trees.

Visitors will be given a glimpse into the cultural world of the Ncera people while at the festival as they will be selling traditional food and crafts, and showcasing traditional cloths in a fashion show.

There will be clearly marked signage along the roads so finding us won’t be a problem. So head towards the Kidds Beach/Kaysers Beach area and follow the Ncera Macadamia Harvest festival signage.

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