Farmers relief: Government considering Macadamia nut addition as one of the edible oils producing crops under the National Edible Oil Crops Project

  • 14 Aug 2023
  • 2 Mins Read
  • 〜 by The Vellum Team


The government is considering adding Macadamia as one of the key edible oils producing crops to boost local consumption and economic value to farmers, the State Department for Crop Production Principal Secretary Phillip Harsama has said.


The addition of Macadamia as an edible oil-producing crop under the National Edible Oil Crops Project, alongside Sunflower, Canola and Soybeans, the PS noted, could provide a much-needed cushion for farmers hard hit by the prevailing global glut that has seen prices for the nut plummet to Kshs 20 down from Kshs 250 per kilogramme three years ago.


Speaking when he presided over a function to launch listed agribusiness firm Kakuzi Plc (NSE: KUKZ) new brand, PS Harsama said increased domestic consumption of Macadamia nuts in various value-added forms will help provide relief to the global glut challenge and boost incomes for farmers. The government, he said is attaching the utmost importance to agricultural transformation.


“I am impressed that as the government advances the National Edible Oil Crops Project, Kakuzi Plc, as part of its branding programme, is set to introduce competitively priced Macadamia Cooking oil in the local market. This is a significant milestone that complements the National Edible Oil Crops Project and provides an avenue to diversify the pool of edible oils-producing crops beyond Sunflower, Canola and Soybeans to Macadamia.”


He added, “Secondly, this development offers a route to double up the consumption of Macadamia nuts locally through value addition in the face of the current global glut.”


As part of a dedicated value-addition process geared at raising local consumption for Macadamia, Kakuzi Plc has introduced a range of ready-to-eat macadamia consumer packs in various flavours. The firm has also commenced the production of cold pressed Macadamia cooking oil.


At the Kakuzi launch, PS Harsama affirmed that the government is sparing no effort to advance the National Edible Oil Crops Promotion Project.


“Through resources from the exchequer, the State Department for Crop Development plans to spend more than KSh 40 billion this financial year to implement the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) priorities, including the National Edible Oil Crops Project,” Harsama said and added that “the government will continue prioritising programmes and sub-programmes intended to facilitate the attainment of food and nutrition security, agricultural value addition and sustainable land management.”


The government, he said, plans to provide 720 Metric Tonnes of certified sunflower seeds by the use of the e-voucher input subsidy services, 200 Metric Tonnes of assorted canola seeds, sunflower, soya and 10,000 coconut seedlings, and disburse KSh.42million to 840 farmers as loans in Kwale, Mombasa, Taita Taveta Tana River and Kilifi Counties under the National Edible Oil Crops Project. 


Following the launch, Kakuzi has formally adopted a new corporate identity that underscores its commitments to agricultural development for the domestic and export markets. The new Kakuzi brand is aligned with the national agricultural transformation agenda, with sustainability and climate-smart agriculture at its core.