The government has announced that it is working with various stakeholders to secure alternative markets for macadamia nuts.
Macadamia nuts are dubbed the green diamond of Chipinge due to their high rewards.
However, prices of the nuts have fallen down to US$0.80 cents from US$3 per kilogramme causing a sour relationship between macadamia nuts producers and buyers, with producers calling for a win-win situation.
China was the major destination for local macadamia nuts but the oversupply of the nuts in that country led to a decline in prices.
Secretary for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mr Edgars Seenza said Government has intervened to save the macadamia nuts industry from collapsing.
Mr Seenza said the nuts industry is a critical sector for the provincial economy as well as the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Manica Post quotes him as saying:
The issue of low prices for macadamia nuts is being addressed by Government.
At the moment, there are five buyers of macadamia nuts from South Africa, China and India in Chipinge District and these buyers told us that the prices of macadamia nuts are depressed on the international markets.
However, the country’s trade promotion board, ZimTrade, has made commendable efforts in establishing new markets for our macadamia nuts which are critical in the GDP equation and they are liaising with buyers from Netherlands, United Kingdom and Germany to come on board as alternative markets for macadamia nuts.
We are waiting for the finalisation of their discussions and farmers will be trained to produce thein Chipinge District quality nuts required by the international markets in order for them to fetch meaningful prices for their nuts.
Macadamia Producers Association of Zimbabwe (MPAZ) secretary, Mr Lazarus Dhliwayo said macadamia nuts farmers are optimistic that they will get new markets in the alternative countries.
Scores of indigenous farmers in the Eastern Highlands took up macadamia nuts farming at the turn of the millennium.