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Pamoja company to promote Macadamia Nut production

A total of 13000 Macadamia farmers in East Africa are set to benefit from the Sh1.2 billion to spur its production.

The farmers are projected to reap huge benefits following an investment of US$ 8.5 m (Sh 1,237,607,320.53 billion) to accelerate sustainable production of the crop in Kenya and Tanzania.

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A leading Kenyan-based company Pamoja is targeting 6,200 hectares of managed lands according to stringent sustainability criteria (Organic and Fair Trade) to support 13,000 small local producers by 2031.

Guillaume Maillard, founder and managing director of Pamoja said the company is strengthening its position in the high-end segment of its market thanks to a dedicated sustainable investment by French Asset Management Company, Mirova.

“This partnership with Mirova will enable us to step up our efforts by promoting sustainable and profitable exploitation of arable land, and to train producers in best Agricultural practices”, Maillard said.

He said they will also be able to strengthen industrial facilities, managed according to our Swiss standards, which enable nuts processed in Kenya to compete with those from other countries,” Maillard emphasized in a press release issued Monday.

Through its East African subsidiaries TenSenses and Macjaro, he said, the firm boasts of currently working with nearly 6,000 small-scale producers with a constant focus on improving agricultural practices and gaining access to international standards.

Significantly, Pamoja’s Athi-River processing plant provides access to extensive distribution networks which will continue to generate substantial additional income for the producers, allowing them to access the international markets.

According to the Nuts Traders Association of Kenya, Macadamia growers from Mt. Kenya and parts of Rift Valley regions earned Sh 4.1 billion in 2022.

The various licensed processors were able to handle a capacity of 80,000 tonnes. Globally, Kenya is ranked as the third largest producer of Macadamia with a market share of 13 percent (7,750 tonnes) on a kernel basis.

In the last decade (2009-2018), Kenya’s macadamia production experienced an upward trajectory from around 11,000 tonnes of nut-in-shell (NIS) to 42,500 tonnes.

As one of the most lucrative cash crops after tea, macadamia’s pricing has soared between Sh 100 and Sh130 per kilogram compared to Sh30 last year.

This has been attributed to the Kenya government’s suspension of Section 43 of the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) Act in November 2023 which outlawed in-shell exportation.

Maillard pointed out that the firm also intends to extend its support program for small-scale producers to establish a sustainable value chain, along the lines of what has been set up in Kenya.

Its inclusion efforts cover a program for small-scale farmers, which is geared towards reducing poverty and inequality.

“We are highly committed to positively impacting the planet and people’s lives through sustainable agriculture, knowledge sharing, and offering new opportunities”, he explained.

Maillard added that their focus is sustainable agriculture to efficiently use natural resources, by ensuring fair economic returns throughout the value chain.

The noble partnership co-promoted by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and Mirova, is part of the Land Degradation Neutrality1 (LDN) fund, aimed at financing projects that contribute to land degradation neutrality.

The huge investment makes Pamoja join a portfolio of 12 sustainable land management projects in Africa, Latin America, and Asia in supply chains as diverse as coffee, cocoa, wood, nuts, and fresh fruits.

It also covers ingredients for the pharmaceutical industry and payments for ecosystem services which demonstrates the effectiveness of the sustainable business model promoted by Mirova.

On the same mission through Macjaro in Tanzania, the company is developing macadamia nut farms, operated with respect for agroforestry ecosystems.

It’s projected to plant over 700 hectares of new coffee and macadamia nut farms over the next few years.

According to Gautier Quéru, the Managing Director at Mirova, the significant investment in Pamoja illustrates their ongoing commitment to sustainable land management in emerging countries.

With Mirova’s expertise, local presence, and long-term financial support, Quéru, stated that Pamoja is now better equipped to develop its strategy around sustainable land management.

“This is in line with our objective of supporting sustainable transition of the agricultural and forestry sectors while generating long-term financial value for our investors,” he declared.














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