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Commodities

Macadamia lobby seeks harvesting restriction

Jane Nturibi harvests her macadamia nuts at Laithicie village in Tigania West on April 13, 2016. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Jane Nturibi harvests her macadamia nuts at Laithicie village in Tigania West on April 13, 2016. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A lobby representing macadamia farmers now wants harvesting restricted as demand for the crop slumps in the international market on the outbreak of coronavirus that has disrupted the supply chain.

Nut Processors Association of Kenya (NutPAK) head of secretariat Charles Muigai said the slowdown will affect the demand this year.

"We appeal to our farmers to allow nuts to mature and only harvest what is ready to avoid unnecessary losses, " Mr Muigai said in a statement.

However, he added that processors will off-take farmers nuts but under a reduced intake compared to previous years.

"It is incumbent upon farmers to practice responsible harvesting in the wake of a sluggish global macadamia market," he added.

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"Right now macadamia processors do not know for sure what the near future portends, but we are preparing and buying nuts at global orders’ pace."

This comes barely two years after NutPAK announced the country's macadamia production had grown fourfold in less than a decade as more farmers took-up the crop.

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