The great nut robbery: These machete-wielding gangs don’t want cash

Posted on: – 2017-04-13 10:18

Harare – Police in Zimbabwe’s southern Chipinge district have had to help farmers step up security after machete-wielding robbers began targeting a new and lucrative loot: macadamia nuts.

The state-controlled Manica Post says in its latest edition that police in the area have seized tons of stolen macadamia nuts since last month.

Brazen robbers armed with machetes, knobkerries and catapults are no longer bothering to wait until night to stage their attacks on farmers, but hitting farmers during the daytime, says the report.

“Every day, we are recovering macadamia nuts from robbers and we are handling more reports of theft,” police spokesperson Daniel Mhini told the newspaper.

The paper said the nuts had a value of $2-4 per kg.

Farmer Simon Sithole told the Manica Post: “We are living in fear, as some of our workers are being assaulted every day by some of the robbers.”

Production of macadamia nuts began in Zimbabwe around 2000. In some cases it can be more profitable than tobacco, farmers have said.

Taken from:


SAMAC signs a MOU with China Nuts Industry

South African Macadamia Grower’s Association (SAMAC) Partners with Specialized Committee for Nuts and Roasted Seeds of China National Industry Association (CSNC)

Hefei, China—On April 13, 2017, Mr. Walter Giuricich, Chairman of the South African Macadamia Grower’s Association (SAMAC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Madam Weng Yangyang, the senior Vice President of the Specialized Committee for Nuts and Roasted Seeds of China National Industry Association (CSNC), aimed at enhancing the relationship of the macadamia and roaster industries between the two countries.  The signing ceremony took place at the opening of the China Nuts and Roasted Seed Industry’s Annual Conference and 11th China Nuts and Roasted Seed Exhibition. The board members of CSNC, Mr. Mashudu Silimela, Agricultural Counsellor from the South African Embassy, and honoured guests, witnessed the event along with over one thousand Chinese nut industry leaders and CNSC Members.

At the opening, Madam Wang claimed that China is now the largest nut market in the world. As per the figure released by CSNC at the event, the total sales of China nuts and roasted seeds have reached to RMB 132.7 Billion (around USD19.5 billion) in 2016, up 10% compared with the year before. It demonstrated the strong growth of the industry, part of which shall contribute to CSNC’s effort to promote their members’ products, summarized in a slogan stating that “eating a handful of nuts and roasted nuts a day will keep you healthy”.  Giuricich echoed in his opening remarks addressing to the audience that, “many nut industries in the world supply more than 30% of their crop to China. “

When referring specifically to South African macadamias, China purchased approximately 40%, or 18,200 tons in 2015 and 36%, or 13,680 tons, of the crop in 2016. The figure has decreased in 2016 as South Africa experienced its worst drought recorded in history which affected production in all major growing regions.

“Looking forward from 2017 onwards the global macadamia industry is expected to be back at full capacity by 2018 and doubling in size by 2020!  This massive growth will result in an industry which represents less than 2% of the international nut market to grow to 4% in the next 3 to 4 years” said Giuricich.

No doubt China has played a key role in the recent market growth for macadamia nuts which is why SAMAC is seeking the partnership with CSNC. The signed MOU will allow the two parties to enhance collaboration by exchanging industry information, jointly promoting macadamias, and allow involvement in each associations respective events.

As Giuricich quoted- a proverb from Nigeria states, “a man cannot sit down alone to plan for prosperity. Relationships, teamwork and trust though all levels of business and trade is important for success.”

What does this mean for the South African macadamia industry going forward?

The objective of the MOU between the two organisations is to address the challenges that both industries currently face, specifically market access and import duties. The agreement will ensure that the two organisations establish a long-term, equal, friendly and common development support mechanism by:

Sharing information of relevant laws, regulations, and standards promulgated by the two countries and industry bodies.

Being involved in the major activities of the industry, enterprises and associations by jointly holding product procurement conferences, exhibitions, trade fairs and other events.

Promote both industries through websites, publications and other media platforms.

Jointly work together in regards to nutrition research and other scientific disciplines in respect of macadamias.

Interact with each other regularly to promote exchanges and the cooperation among enterprises of two countries to create and further grow business opportunities.

Accept tasks entrusted or requested by the other party.

Allow both parties to conduct further negotiations about matters which haven’t been included in the MOU.

The ceremony received support from the South African Embassy and further meetings have been scheduled to initiate involvement with the DTI in South Africa.

Updated:  18-04-2017



KZN Study Group Report

SAMAC study groups were successfully held in KZN on the 21st of February at Tadpoles farm (near Stanger) and on the 22nd of February at Broadmore farm in Port Edward. Both days were well attended by enthusiastic macadamia growers despite the heavy rains that persisted on both days. The focus of the study groups was on ‘Harvesting Practices’. As the macadamia nuts are maturing on the tree and harvesting about to take place soon, it was a relevant topic of discussion for this study group.

The speakers were absolutely phenomenon and graced us with their expert knowledge. They included Patrick Lennon from Plan-A-Head, Alwyn du Preez (Golden Macadamias), Juan Winters from Source, Lindsay Tredgold and Philip Lee (CompleteLee Nuts Consulting).

Plan-A-Head presented their macadamia management software and gave an impressive live demonstration of their infield weighing device. Juan Winters discussed the KZN benchmarking statistics with the growers and Alwyn du Preez gave a wonderful insight on using Ethapon sprays to harvest macadamia nuts.

At the north coast study group Lindsay Tredgold gave a well-rounded talk on ‘The fertilisation of macadamias”. He emphasised using the correct application rates of nutrients (N P K) at the different phenological stages of tree as well as at the right tree age. Philip Lee gave us a brilliant overview of the macadamia industry and also presented some interesting facts and figures on different macadamia varieties.

In addition, at the south coast study group, growers had an interesting discussion on “Harvest costings” which was chaired by Quentin Elliot. Overall the study groups went very well. A special word of thanks to our sponsors Plan-A-Head for sponsoring the meetings and to Walter Klar (Tadpoles Farm) and Gunter Wichmann (Broadmore Farm) for hosting us.


SAMAC onttrek vanaf Subtrop – RSG Landbou

Barry Christie, bedryfsbestuurder van Suider-Afrikaanse Makadamia Kwekersvereniging (SAMAC), deel inligting oor SAMAC se onttrekking van Subtrop.

Lees ‘n verdere artikel oor die ontrekking:


Makadamia Beskermingsprogram – RSG Landbou

‘n Nuwe navorsingsprogram, die Makadamia Beskermingsprogram (The Macadamia Protection Programme (MaPP)) is onlangs bekendgestel. Dr Gerda Fourie, leier van die program, en Barry Christie, bedryfsbestuurder vir makadamia by Subtrop, praat met RSG-luisteraars hieroor.



Download (PDF, 216KB)

Luister na ‘n onderhoud oor die program:

Photos of the Event:


South African Macadamia Crop – Media Release – May 2017


The Southern African Macadamia Growers’ Association has conducted a round of data collection from approximately 80% of the registered handlers representing approximately 95% of the macadamia industry’s total production volume. The updated forecast is 41 430 tons of nut-in shell (1.5% kernel moisture content), which is slightly lower than the previous forecast of 42 000 tons. It is suspected that many new plantings will come into production for the first time, resulting in a slight increase in production from 2016. The macadamia industry is still suffering the effects of a severe drought that lead to a crop of 38 000 tons in 2016, compared to 46 000 tons that were produced in 2015. Mpumalanga remains the largest production region with 51% of the forecasted volumes predicted to come from this province, followed by Limpopo (26%) and KwaZulu-Natal (21%). The remaining 3% of the crop is expected to come from other regions such as the Eastern and Western Cape Provinces. An updated forecast will be done during June 2017.

New data has also been received from macadamia nurseries on their 2016 tree sales volumes. The new data, received from approximately 90% of the nurseries and representing approximately 95% of the industry, shows that 1 132 110 macadamia trees were sold in South Africa during 2016. This is the equivalent of 3 538 hectares at a planting density of 320 trees per hectare. ‘Beaumont’ remains the most-widely planted cultivar, comprising 49% of the total sales, followed by A4 (22%) and 816 (16%). Mpumalanga remains the province with the most new plantings, absorbing 49% of the total trees produced, followed by KwaZulu-Natal (33%), Limpopo Province (10%), Western Cape (3%) and other destinations (5%). In 2016 it was reported that more than 70% of trees were sold in Mpumalanga during 2015. It is evident that the growth in new plantings in KwaZulu-Natal is on the increase and it is suspected that this will be the future.

Issued by the Southern African Macadamia Growers’ Association (SAMAC)

29 May 2017

Contact: Barry Christie

Tel: +27 73 084 1772



In a recent article by Julie Delahaye for the it was revealed which foods are classified as the superfood for 2017.

“The superfoods set to take 2017 by storm have been revealed! This year sees favourites including avocado oil and macadamia nuts topping the list, as well as unexpected new entries including insects and bone broth. With many of us looking for easy, healthy swaps to make in our diets, there are great alternatives on offer including black bean pasta or buckwheat noodles for delicious and nutritional alternatives to the classics” (Delahaye 2017).

In this article a reference was made to where the list of superfoods can be found.

To read the whole article, please go to:



Delahaye J 2017.  The Superfoods of 2017 Revealed.  Online Article



Below is an email from the Scientific and Technical Projects Manager at the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council, Irene Gironès regarding a call for proposals as well as project guidelines on health research on macadamias.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am pleased to inform you that the macadamia community just launched a new Call for Research Projects that may contribute to enhance the understanding of the health effects of macadamia nut consumption, and we are inviting researchers to submit project proposals.

Research priorities: Comparing the effect of a macadamias enriched diet vs. a control diet on insulin resistance/secretion, lipid profile (total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides), and other emergent cardiovascular risk factors, e.g. inflammation, oxidative stress markers, etc. including the evaluation of the effects of macadamia nut consumption on adiposity.

200,000 EUR is available for the Macadamia Health Research. Applications due by 28 February 2017.

The Guidelines and the Application Form are available online at

We would very much appreciate if you could share the news with researchers, universities and research institutions in your country.

Should you need any further information, please do let me know.

Thank you and Best regards,

Irene Gironès

Scientific and Technical Projects Manager


International Nut and Dried Fruit Council

Carrer de la Fruita Seca, 4
Polígon Tecnoparc

43204 REUS, Spain

Tel.: +34 977 331 416

Fax: +34 977 315 028


Disease Alert: Husk Rot

Husk rot of macadamia is not a new disease, and especially not new in South Africa. However, our members should be aware that the disease is becoming more widespread. This was anticipated, since macadamia is a relatively new crop to South Africa. It can therefore be predicted that the disease will become more prevalent and have greater economic impacts in the near future. Husk rot is caused by several fungal species, amongst others Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and Phomopsis spp. It can also be predicted that new, possibly even undescribed diseases will be seen in the future. Make sure that you scout your orchards on a regular basis and to control the disease when necessary. Please note that husk rot is not to be confused with husk spot, which is caused by a different pathogen (Pseudocercospora macadamiae). Control of the pathogen includes cultural and chemical methods. Visit the members’ section of the SAMAC website for a list of registered chemicals. Always follow label instructions and only spray registered products. A short article on the subject also appeared in Vol 15 of the Subtrop Journal in 2016 (CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ARTICLE). Curative control might not be achievable, but further spread of pathogens should be avoided. Below are pictures of what the symptoms may look like, depending on the stage of development of the disease and/or the nut.


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