In this article we shall be discussing an interesting and unique farming venture, macadamia nuts farming business. Just to start off by engaging your attention, did you know that macadamia nuts are the most expensive nuts in the world? Well, they are and they on average cost around US$55 per kilogram (price varies greatly depending on your location and on whether you are selling domestically or exporting). The top 3 macadamia nuts producers in the world are Hawaii, Australia and South Africa (in that order). Hawaii tops the list, obviously,because that is where the crop originates from. That is definitely something to get you interested because you would want to start a lucrative farming business. However, you should not for a moment kid yourself because macadamia nuts farming is a very long term undertaking. You can only start to expect marked yields after about half a decade from planting. Tentatively that means profits can start trickling in from 6 years onwards. In fact, for a macadamia nuts plant (some even refer to them as trees) to be deemed mature that is only after a period at least a decade long.
It is no wonder why macadamia nuts end up being the most expensive nuts worldwide. The more the years pass by the more yields you will realize. For instance, after half a decade one macadamia plant or tree can produce one kilogram of nuts annually. After a decade or so the same can produce nuts exceeding 20 kilograms per year. So once the crop has reached absolute maturity it becomes commonplace to reap yields of more than 5 tonnes per hectare. In this article we look at some of the important information you must know regarding starting a macadamia nuts farming business.
Key Requirements And Components
To start growing macadamia nuts you can either start off with the seeds or you can source seedlings. Of course the latter option is somewhat faster but might entail a risk factor because you might not be sure if these seedlings were nurtured properly. So starting off with seeds can give you the control to oversee the whole process yourself from day one. To plant the seeds you must use sufficiently small pots but that have a substantial depth. You must use soil with good drainage and aeration. It is advised that the orientation of the seed end where the bud is must be horizontal when you place the seeds into the soil. This will contribute towards optimum formation of the taproot. Source your seeds from reputable suppliers or reputable farmers already established in the business. The ultimate soil in which you will place the seedlings must also have good drainage. The soil must also have significant depth and must be laden with organic material for soil fertility.
Grafting is especially recommended to lead to a superior and high-yielding crop. You might wonder why that is important right. Here is the catch, grafted plants or trees need only 2 years to start producing fruit whereas non-grafted ones need 7 years and start with low yield levels. It is important that you engage the expertise of established farmers or agronomists on how the grafting process is best done. Another thing to consider is that there is no harm if you plant other crops together with the macadamia nuts. Remember that the crop takes years to start producing, let alone to mature. So you can maximize on land space and time to actually grow other crops alongside – experts actually advise on this.
You must ensure the trees are well-protected from wind or turbulent weather conditions such as storms. Macadamia trees are very susceptible to breaking if exposed to the wind. They can also prematurely shed yet-to-mature nuts due to wind exposure. So make sure you set up robust wind breaks or simply choose a site that sufficiently bars the trees from excessive winds. Your macadamia nuts business plan should take into account all the costs of the required inputs.
Make Sure You Have A Comprehensive Macadamia Nuts Farming Business Plan
The failure to plan is the beginning of business failure. The macadamia nuts business plan must be clear and succinct enough to give your potential partners, clients and investors an overview of what your objectives are. At the same time, it must be detailed enough to explain the operations of the business that you propose. At the very minimum you need to have the following included in your macadamia nuts farming business plan:
- The mission, vision and operational strategy
- Market Analysis And Customer Segmentation
- A business case showing that the business is financial viable and sustainable
- A marketing and customer care plan
- An organizational chart and human resource policy
- A three-year expansion outlook
- A risk and rewards Analysis
Macadamia nut farming tends to be labour-intensive especially due to the harvesting process. This process is usually done by hand and that means you will need many hands on deck. The good thing is that you can always hire low-cost part-time labourers to work on your crop. Overall, your human capital needs will mainly be a function of your scale of production and even the age of the crop. The latter point is premised on the fact that during the early years the yields are relatively low and only increase as the years go by. Salaries and wages costs should be include in the macadamia nuts farming business plan.
It generally does not require significant capital to start farming macadamia nuts because for one, they do not require lots of chemical inputs. This is because they are very resistant to attacks by pests or diseases. Significant costs can emanate from land preparation and routine maintenance that will be done along the way. With a good macadamia nuts farming business plan you can easily raise the capital.
The market is quite broad and spans from domestic to foreign. Farmers must wary on people who come to buy the nuts from them. Some come and pay very low prices due to ignorance on the part of the farmers or desperation. These people then proceed to export the nuts for very high prices so farmers must be vigilant. By exporting the nuts yourself you stand to get huge returns so it is prudent that you pursue that avenue. There is also a diversified use for macadamia nuts which leads to vast market opportunities. The nuts can be used to manufacture beauty products, detergents or cooking oil, just to mention a few.
Some industry experts regard macadamia nuts so much that they compare them with tobacco with respect to export potential. Governments can seriously invest in promoting the farming of macadamia nuts which can go a long way in contributing to foreign currency earnings. There are also lots of untapped and unexplored research initiatives on the possible uses of macadamia nuts. It would not be surprising to realize later that there is a lot those nuts could give birth to.