Macadamia nuts farmers in Chipinge have appealed to the government to extend export incentives to them as they play an important role in boosting the country’s foreign currency receipts.

Macadamia nuts, which are mainly grown in Chipinge, are an emerging source of foreign currency for the country as the bulk are being exported.

Growers of the nuts said they should be the primary beneficiaries of government support initiative rather than to have the middlemen who buy macademia nuts from them and re-sell for export benefitting.

Macademia Nuts Farmers Association Secretary General, Mr James Maisiri and farmer, Cde Joseph Chinotimba noted that lack of export incentives together with the low prices being given by middlemen are a disadvantage that has disheartened most farmers.

Zimbabweans are not exporting macademia nuts directly to the international market due to sanctions, giving middlemen a monopoly to export the popular produce on behalf of the farmers and the country, a situation that disadvantages both the farmers and the country in terms of foreign currency earnings.

Currently, the local buyers are buying the nuts at an average price of between $1.20 and $3.00 per kg, while international prices currently range between $12 and $16 per kg.