The founders of Neno Macadamia Trust (NMT) have been working with smallholder farmers in Malawi for the past 25 years and through NMT for 12 years. NMT’s mission is “the alleviation of poverty and the improvement of the conditions of life in socially and economically disadvantaged communities in Malawi”. Nutalicious is choosing to supporting this great work and every product sold will generate a donation to the NMT.
Macadamia nuts are an amazingly rich source of energy; similar in properties to that of an olive. They carry no cholesterol and have coronary and anti-cancer benefits. Malawi is the 5th largest producer of macadamia, most of which is produced by large estates but it has been identified as a long term crop that smallholders can grow and benefit from. It is anticipated that within the next 15 or so years the smallholder sector will produce up to 20% of the national crop. When growing this crop there is a minimum 4 year gap between planting and nut harvesting. Trade in macadamia through a cooperative structure, provides producers with an additional income stream beyond cultivation of maize the staple food crop in Malawi. This reduces risks if a maize crop is lost to drought, because tree crops are more resilient to weather extremes and macadamia is drought tolerant. Also the macadamia provides both financial income and nutrition during the “lean period”, pre-maize harvest, when food stocks run low, prices rise and many households go hungry.
As well as the nut being a great food source, the NMT is looking at multiple environmental benefits the nut provides. One of these is that the Macadamia tree crops help mitigate climate change as carbon dioxide is sequestered into the woody tree biomass and shells. Research demonstrates that 180kg of carbon is stored in a trees biomass. In relation to flight emissions, to offset 10 hour flight from London to Johannesburg requires 3 macadamia tree to be planted and grown for 25 years.
Extensive deforestation in Malawi has been driven by fuelwood harvesting and agricultural production associated with population growth. The effect of this has been exposed soil and loss of ecosystem functions, exacerbating drought, flooding, loss of biodiversity and failure of annual crops. Macadamia agroforestry increases tree cover and allows continued cultivation of annual crops in between. This protects soils, recycles biomass aiding fertility and improving the local microclimate.
To ensure this great work can continue, every Nutalicious purchase made will provide a donation to the Neno Macademia Trust to further their great work and help towards alleviating poverty and improving the conditions of life in disadvantaged communities in Malawi.