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The shops are filled with Christmas decorations, festive season celebrations are under way and Macadamia SA is celebrating its fourth and final edition for 2018.

While gathering the stories and doing the research for the inaugural edition in the first quarter of this year we began to get an idea of what was in store for us.

We have met the most interesting people, including technical experts, farmers, processors, workers in the fields and so many more who have helped us to pack each edition with colour, valuable industry information and the most inspiring stories of individuals committed to growing South Africa’s agriculture industry for the good of all.

The macadamia industry is probably one of the most exciting in South Africa at the moment and this edition is packed full of the stories of those who make it the success it is.

We visit Karen and Robert Carlton-Shields who gave up their high-flying corporate lives in Gauteng to start farming macadamias in 2011. The couple have brought their extensive knowledge in staff development to their farming enterprise which has seen the growth of individuals who previously could only have dreamed of what they are achieving and the opportunities that lie ahead for them.

And, as the government works out the complex issue of land ownership in the country, growers wanting to spread their risk have branched out into neighbouring countries such as Mozambique to start growing the crop, but not without demanding challenges.

Some of these include a tangle of red tape and getting to know the dynamics of a different country and its people, its climate and growing conditions.

Then there’s our story on Eugene “Dog” Kalafatis, a KwaZulu-Natal macadamia farmer and one of South Africa’s most experienced helicopter pilots who is using his expertise to improve the application of pesticides in orchards by bringing the very best in technical innovation and development to the crop spraying sector.

This late in the year, most of the macadamia cultivars in the country’s orchards have already dropped their nuts, except of course for the Beaumont variety which is the very last to deliver on its harvest.

Mayo Macs technical expert Rohan Orford reminds us of the unique qualities of this original cultivar and why it is still in demand as a variety in commercial orchards.

From the Macadamia SA team, we wish all our readers, contributors and advertisers a peace-filled Festive Season and a prosperous 2019.

– Gareth Wright – Editor Macadamia SA

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