Farmers in Nwoya district have rolled out the mass production of Macadamia trees to conserve the environment from the adverse effects of climate change.
The initiative also seeks to promote nutrition and enhance household income among the farmers through the sale and consumption of nuts and cholesterol oil realized from the Macadamia trees.
The drive being spearheaded by Delight Farm Limited in Lungulu Sub County, Nwoya district which has over 11,000 farmers, is supported by TREEO Fairventures Gmbh, a German Firm that helps companies achieve their net-zero goals with nature-based carbon removals while they get transparent data on their positive climate impact.
Other partners include UN Women, the Presidential Advisor on Nuts, and the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO).
Dr. Jillian Adyeri Omalla, the Director of Delight Uganda Limited and member of the Nwoya district local development committee told URN that they have mobilized at least 70 outgrower farmers and institutions, and supported them with Macadamia tree seedlings.
At Delight Uganda Limited 10,000 seedlings of the Macadamia area are already prepared at the nursery bed and ready to be planted on 150 acres of land.
Joshua Mugabe Mucunguzi, the Uganda Country Director of TREEO Fairventures Gmbh said that they have in the first season supported the farmers through Delight Uganda Limited with Macadamia tree seedlings for 100 hectares and will in the next season provide another 100 hectares.
He added that they have partnered with the UN Women and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the farmers to supply Macadamia seedlings for 100,000 hectares.
The partnership is meant to last 30 years and is expected to extend to the entire Northern region.
He noted that the Macadamia tree not only helps in the value chain but also helps the community address the devastating effects of climate change such as floods and drought by rehabilitating tree covers.
Agronomists say that an acre of land can plant 62 Macadamia trees in a spacing of 8 by meters, the tree takes approximately six years but at eight years it can give you 500,000 shillings per tree yearly.
Adyeri who disclosed that they intend to set up an oil factory at the farm says that even without value addition a farmer can sell their fruits, currently a kilo of Macadamia nuts is 50,000 shillings.
On Wednesday the State Minister for Agriculture Fred Bwino Kyagulaga, Director General NARO Yona Baguma, and a team of Presidential Advisors on nuts toured the farm and discussed possible ways of supporting the initiative.
Baguma and Bwino pledged to support the initiative looking at its value for income generation and ability to conserve the depleted environment through agroforestry.
Macadamia prefers growing on fertile, well-drained upland soils with an annual rainfall of between 1,000–2,000mm and optimum temperatures of 25 °C and not falling below 10 °C.
Macadamia nuts are also rich in food nutrients and beneficial in the management of several health conditions including heart diseases, improved digestion, weight management, and blood sugar control, among others.