Demand For Kenyan Macadamia Nuts Outweighs The Current Supply


Macadamia farmers in Kenya are currently producing just about 42,000 tonnes of in-shell nuts, according to the Nut Processors Association of Kenya (NutPAK). This constitutes only 20% of the global supply.

However, there is a remarkable growth in the production volumes, something that has earned Kenya recognition and the chance to host the 9th International Macadamia Symposium in August 2021.




This event which brings together major industry players from all over the world is held after every 2 years. During the last even that was held in 2019, the symposium’s message to all macadamia nuts producing countries was to scale up production in order to meet the growing demand in the world market.

Small scale farmers play an important role in production

In Kenya, the majority of macadamia nuts are produced by small scale farmers mainly in Embu, Muranga, Meru and other parts of central. The country currently has over 200,000 small scale producers of the nuts.

macadamia nut farming in kenya
A well done macadamia tree plantation

The production capacity of these farmers is still very low and does not even meet the local demand. While we had only 4 macadamia nut processors in Kenya in the year 2009, we now have 30 such established factories.

According to NutPAK, the processors in the country currently have the capacity to process 90,000 tonnes of in-shell nuts. That means they are forced to operate at only 50% of their capacity due to lack of supplies.

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Increasing macadamia nut production in Kenya

In an effort to fill this supply gap, several organizations have come up to support the small scale farmers of macadamia. For example, the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) is planning to supply at least 3 million macadamia seedlings to small scale farmers in the country.

The areas targeted by this effort are those that have traditionally not been producing the nuts but have conducive climate for their growth. These include Uasin Gishu, Taita Taveta, Elgeyo Marakwet and Nandi Counties.

Deshelled macadamia nuts have great demand

Kenyan macadamia are mainly exported to China, Europe and America. Since the year 2009 when the government banned the export of in-shell nuts, the country has been processing all its produce and before taking it to the market. China is a major importer of the Kenyan nuts with an ever increasing demand.  


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The demand for the macadamia nuts has been increasing a lot over the past years, according to Marco Russo, managing director of Macadamia Brazil, a company that exports both in-shell and deshelled nuts from Brazil. “There is currently more demand than production, but it is difficult to quickly increase the volumes for the macadamias in order to meet this increasing demand. The macadamia trees take up to eight years to mature and reach optimum production, so it is really a long-term investment.”

The price for in-shell macadamia nuts hit Ksh200 a kilo last harvesting season and this has encouraged more farmers to take care of the trees they have an plant more in order to increase production. AFA projects that with proper support, macadamia production in Kenya will reach 61,000 tonnes in the next 5 years.

With the projected future of the crop, macadamia farming is a great way to invest for your future. If you would like to invest in it and you need support, call or email us any time through the contact us page. 

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