Unlocking the potential of value chains as climate change resilience strategies: can macadamia nuts (macadamia integrifolia) offer the gateway?
Keywords:Climate change management, Small holder farmers, Macadamia nuts, Value chain
The consequences of climate change threaten existing agriculture systems across Zimbabwe. The researchers examined the possibility and potential for developing a smallholder farmer driven macadamia nuts value chain. Using the case of Chipinge district, Manicaland province, Zimbabwe, the study evaluated the potential of macadamia nut value chain functions as a climate change resilience strategy in Zimbabwe. Challenges faced by actors and positive developments made in incorporating smallholders into the macadamia nuts production sector were explored. The role of local markets and producers in the international trade in macadamia nuts were also examined, using a modified stakeholder analysis framework. Triangulation, a mixed methodology, was used to adequately capture the various quantitative and qualitative dimensions along the macadamia nuts value chain pillars. A sample of 220 farming units including Estates, A1 and A2 farmers was proportionately selected for the study. Primary data were collected from Key Informants through interviews and personal communications. Secondary data were collected from Agritex officers, buyers, and the Macadamia Association of Zimbabwe farmers’ records. The production-marketing interface for macadamia nuts is weakly coordinated in the study area as shown by the rudimentary production systems especially for the A1 and A2 farmers. Results show that the major missing links are the limited application of extension driven production enhancers and the limited visibility of farmers in more rewarding export markets. Production scales have, however, been increasing with more farmers allocating land towards the macadamia nuts trees. Decentralization of macadamia nuts markets and localized value addition needs to be done to realign domestic and export market prices.
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