In this edition of The Macadamia, the strength and opportunities in South Africa’s industry are again emphasised, on the one hand by research and on the other, by a visiting group of farmers from Down Under.

Despite the fact that macadamia trees are indigenous to Australia, South Africa is leading the way in both innovation and export volumes as the development of the crop continues apace in the country.

In discussion with Chris Searle, the joint leader of the group of 17 macadamia farmers who visited under the banner of the Australian Macadamia Society and were hosted by Mayo Macs in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, the availability of land and water along the country’s eastern seaboard is way in excess of that which is available in his home country.

However, he warned South Africa’s growers and processors to be careful not to rest on their laurels as the growth of the Chinese plantings could threaten nut-in-shell exports to the East.

Therefore, the continued growth of high-quality kernel was in the very best interest of the future export stability for the domestic crop.

Searle also emphasised the need for a lean and efficient industry, particularly in the development of irrigation and orchard maintenance methodologies.

In our lead story, research and development is showing that “profound” changes in eating habits continue as more and more consumers shun meat-based proteins in favour of a plant-based diet.

This trend, particularly in Europe and the United States, is driving the demand for nuts and lentils at a higher than expected pace, which augurs well for the health of the domestic industry for years to come.

For the first time, we are hearing about the growth of the macadamia industry in the south of the country as agriculture journalist Chris Jooste visits Hardus Knoetze, a former Limpopo land owner, who is now developing orchards at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains in the Western Cape.

To make sure The Macadamia is a publication offering value beyond just a good story, we have again included a number of technical pieces offering advice on orchard management and development.

The Macadamia is the world’s only independent publication that promotes the macadamia industry, and we are delighted to be able to boast of more than 30 000 visits to our online publication and online portals monthly.

  – Gareth Wright

Editor The Macadamia Magazine