Embu County Government has engaged researchers to come up with a new macadamia variety that can thrive in the expansive, semi-arid Mbeere region.
Governor Martin Wambora says they are working with research firms and processors to come up with an early yielding and disease resistant macadamia variety for farmers from upper parts of Embu.
He says the county government would partner with other stakeholders to distribute the new varieties to farmers in all the 20 wards aiming to increase macadamia production.
For years, macadamia in Embu has been grown only on the upper parts which receive adequate rainfall, but where unfortunately land sizes are small.
He says his government has put priority to promoting macadamia including enacting policies to regulate the sector and make it profitable for farmers.
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The county has also partnered with an investor to build the first ever macadamia factory in the Eastern region, Privamnuts Kenya Limited.
“Macadamia remains an important crop in the county. It has proven local and international market demand. The crop has great potential for poverty reduction due to high value products and its low external inputs,” says Wambora.
Privamnuts Kenya Ltd is constructing a Sh200 million factory with a capacity of 7,000 metric tonnes every season at Muthatari area. The firm’s Managing Director Patrick Mukundi said the factory will employ 2,000 workers once it starts operations before the end of the year and will do complete value addition to churn out branded nuts.