Chipinge (New Ziana) – Macadamia farmers in Chipinge have been left counting loses after Tropical Cyclone Anna uprooted their mature trees.
In recent years, Zimbabwe has expanded macadamia nut production in Chimanimani and Chipinge districts, after small scale farmers joined the sector.
The crop is mainly exported to China and Europe.
However, tropical cyclone Ana, which hit the country recently, impacted macadamia production negatively as some of the plants either fell or were uprooted by heavy winds.
The heavy rains and strong winds brought into the country by the cyclone left a trail of destruction in the east of the country, the main production region of macadamia nuts.
The Department of Civil Protection confirmed that trees were uprooted in Nyanga, Chipinge and Chimanimani areas.
A local macadamia farmer, Simbarashe Zvaita (38) told New Ziana that most of his trees fell due to heavy winds.
“This will cause a decrease in production as most of mature plants were uprooted,” he said.
Another farmer, Farai Mapungwana, lost 15 macadamia plants.
“I lost 15 macadamia plants to Cyclone Ana and it will take time to replant and harvest. This will affect production of the macadamia in the region,” he said.
Allied Timbers said its plantations in the region were also damaged, while other players in the timber industry were left counting losses too. Gum trees were uprooted while others fell because of strong winds.
According to Zimtrade, the country`s export promotion agency, the development of the sector is now important as it presents a lucrative alternative to tobacco, whose global demand in under threat from lobbyists seeking to ban smoking.
Export value of macadamia nuts has been growing since the first recorded exports in 2013.
The global macadamia market size is expected to reach US$2, 95 billion by 2028. It is expected to expand at an annual growth rate of 10,7 percent from 2021 to 2028.
Ariston Holdings and Tanganda Tea Company are some of the major producers of macadamia in Zimbabwe.