| August 23, 2017

PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA, The drought which has ravaged South Africa's Eastern Cape Province has crippled Macademia nut production.

South Africa is the second largest producer of Macademia nuts in the world after Australia and has plans to expand farm of the nut even further across the province.

The Director of the Ncerha Eastern Cape Macademia Farm, Mkululi Pakade, said Tuesday: We are talking about an export commodity whose demand far exceeds the supply. As we speak, global production of Macademia is only sitting at 1.5 per cent. So, about 98.5 per cent of global demand is not supplied.

"So, there is a huge demand globally for Macademia nuts and you can read any publication about Macademia nuts; that is the story you are going to hear. The prices have improved because of the huge demand and you might have seen again that this year is going to be a bumper year for the industry, save for the drought which basically dropped the volume.

The Eastern Cape Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Agriculture, Mlibo Qhoboshiyane, said the drought remained a challenge in the province.

We want to be a major supplier of Macademia nut; we are second in the world currently and we can become a major player, creating new factories, new industries and new employment. But we could not expand because if there is no water, these trees will remain dwarfish and we cannot yield the expected outcome."

Meanwhile, the South African Weather Service has warned that a sand and dust storm hit parts of the provinces of Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Free State on Tuesday . Veld fires also flared up because of strong winds.


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