Review of Macadamia Production in Malawi: Focusing on What, Where, How Much Is Produced and Major Constraints

Zuza, Emmanuel Junior; Maseyk, Kadmiel; Bhagwat, Shonil; Emmott, Andrew; Rawes, Will and Araya, Yoseph (2021). Review of Macadamia Production in Malawi: Focusing on What, Where, How Much Is Produced and Major Constraints. Agriculture, 11(2), article no. e152.



Macadamia is an essential commodity crop in Malawi. The nuts are a lucrative commodity and are used for household consumption, income generation among farming families and as a foreign exchange earning crop at country-level. Macadamia production in Malawi has increased significantly in recent years. Malawi is the seventh top producer of macadamia nuts valued at £23.5 million, with a global market share of 3%. In 2018, the country was the fourth-largest exporter of macadamia nuts that were valued at £18.2 million. The majority (90%) of this crop was grown by large commercial estates with smallholder’s production only contributing about 10% of the total crop production. However, the smallholder sector is vital for the future growth of the macadamia sector in the country. Further, Malawian smallholders consider macadamia production as a low-input crop with large returns per unit area (£10.7 kg−1 ha−1), and it thus a lucrative commodity with high potential for poverty reduction and wealth creation among these farming families. This paper, therefore, explores: (i) the historical and current trends in macadamia nut production in Malawi; (ii) analyses the country’s macadamia value chain focusing on smallholder farmer contributions; and (iii) discusses the constraints of smallholder macadamia production in Malawi for informed policymaking. We conclude that the synthesis of the Malawian macadamia sub-sector provides an understanding of the vital contributions of macadamia to Malawi’s economic growth and improvement of livelihoods.

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