- A spike in the nut's value has seen many farmers rushing to plant more trees.
- Unscrupulous traders in Nyeri, Meru and Embu are reportedly exploiting increased demand to supply uncertified seedlings.
- Players in the sector are in a rush to scale up production after reports that China has stepped up efforts to increase production from the current 25,000 tonnes to 100,000 by 2025.
Stakeholders in Kenya's nut sector have warned farmers and the general public to watch out for fake macadamia seedlings being sold in the country as demand for the crop continues to soar due to high farm gate prices.
The price of macadamia nuts reached Sh200 a kilo at the close of the last harvesting season in September, placing it among the most lucrative crops in the country.
The spike in the nut's value has seen many farmers rushing to plant more trees.
However, unscrupulous traders in Nyeri, Meru and Embu counties are reportedly exploiting the increased demand by supplying uncertified seedlings to farmers that go for between Sh300 and Sh400 each.
Nuts Processors Association of Kenya (NutPAK) chief executive officer Charles Muigai said they are selling the seedlings at Sh250, and asked farmers to be wary of traders who were selling them fake seeds at exorbitant prices.
“Some of the seedlings take too long to mature but if you get certified ones, they take between two and three years,” he said.