Developing sustainable markets for smallholder macadamia farmers.
Neno Macadamia Trust
In 2010 Ken Mkangala featured in a macadamia promotion video where a villager rejoiced that her children were so healthy as the result of eating macadamia nuts.
The same reaction has been heard in Neno where parents are seeing noticeable improvements in their children’s school work, with these kernels in their diet. A traditional meal in Malawi often includes ground peanuts, but now in some districts the humble peanut is being supplemented by macadamia. With more than 600 farmers in Neno having trees over 10 years of age, these mature trees have started producing crops of nuts, some of which are consumed at home.
In 2011 Scottish aid built a fine macadamia nut depot in Neno following which the NESMAC farmers expressed a wish to develop NESMAC into a business in the form of a Co-operative. In 2012 Ken Mkangala as manager of the Highland Macadamia Co-operative Union (HIMACUL) and MoIT Cooperative officers, with support from the Neno Macadamia Trust and the Co-operative college in UK guided NESMAC's transition to Neno Macadamia Cooperative Society Ltd (NESMACSL). This is a development the Trust strongly supports and looks forward to the next stage of developing a viable macadamia business in Neno.
Food Security - In October news reports suggest 77,000 people are facing food shortages in the Neno District. So far 14,041 households have been targeting for maize distribution so there are some people still in need of food.
The highlight of my time as an NMT trustee was in 2010 when I visited Neno, along with Nick and Liz Marshall and my eldest son Simon. It was a fascinating, exciting, humbling experience.