Macadamia Nut

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Macadamia Nut

***** Location: Kenya, other tropical regions
***** Season: Cool dry season
***** Category: Plant


Isabelle Prondzynski send us some information from the World Bank :

The macadamia nut tree was introduced to Kenya around 1944. However, its widespread planting did not start until twenty five years later, when Kenyan authorities were sensitized to the suitability, agricultural integrability, and commercial potential of the tree.

Macadamia nuts and by-products have multiple uses: the fresh or salted kernels could be used for desert, snacks, confectionery ice cream and chocolate making; the oil could be used for salad, cooking, cosmetics or soap manufacturing; the cake is good as livestock feed; the hard shells could be used as fuel for home and charcoal making; and the wood produces a hard and very durable timber.

The macadamia kernels are rich in unsaturated fatty acids and, thus, macadamia nuts are considered to be a health food product as unsaturated fatty acids keep blood cholesterol levels in check. Moreover, the macadamia nut tree can be interplanted with other cash crops and has a wide ecological suitability. It can readily integrate in the existing farming systems.

... www.worldbank.org/


Macadamia is a genus of eight species of flowering plants in the family Proteaceae, with a disjunct distribution native to eastern Australia (seven species) and Indonesia Sulawesi (one species, M. hildebrandii).

The genus is named after John Macadam, who was a colleague of the botanist Ferdinand von Mueller who first described the genus. Common names include Macadamia, Macadamia nut, Queensland nut, Bush nut, Maroochi nut and Bauple nut; Indigenous Australian names include Kindal Kindal and Jindilli.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Kenya is the third largest macadamia producer and the second largest exporter of macadamias. Many Kenyan farmers are integrating macadamia trees into their coffee and tea plantations. They view macadamia output as insurance against the uncertainties of weather which affect coffee and tea. The tree nut marketing companies, cooperatives, and the extension services are raising macadamia seedlings to meet demand.

Heavy unseasonable rains have contributed to a modest 3-percent increase in 1997/98 production. As trees planted 3 to 5 years ago begin bearing nuts, future output of macadamias should again expand more rapidly.

Kenya's macadamia nut exports in 1997/98 are forecast at a record 6,900 tons, 1 percent above the previous season's shipments. Japan and the United States are the 2 largest markets, together accounting for almost 84 percent of Kenya's total exports.

© www.fas.usda.gov

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