AMAFH FARMS LIMITED AND MACADAMIA PRODUCTION IN UGANDA
AMAFH Farms limited was established in 2003 with a passion for agricultural production and value-addition. Being an Agro-industrial organisation located in Central Uganda, in Mityana District, Nambale area near Lake Wamala. The company owned by Mr. Morvi Asim started to venture into macadamia nuts farming in 2006 after realising the potential of the crop from a visit by the managing director Mr. Morvi Asim to Australia where he learnt a lot about the macadamia nuts business.
AMAFH FARMS LIMITED owns at the Nambale, Mityana estate, the first largest macadamia nuts plantation in Uganda with over 700 acres of land planted so far and half of that already in production. We are still increasing the acres of land under macadamia nuts with targeting to have 900 acres planted by 2020. Macadamia nuts is the main crop produced on the estate.
The seedlings were first bought from a macadamia nursery which was established around 2004 by the then Royal Nuts Uganda Limited in Kyenjojo District, owned by Mr. Chris Kaijuka. The Royal Nuts nursery also distributed macadamia seedlings to farmers in Kyenjojo District and other areas for planting. Planting of macadamias at AMAFH Farm was started in early 2005 on 55 acres of land and increased gradually over the years with some seedlings imported from Kenya. The varieties used are the Kenyan selections namely Muranga (MRG20), Kirinyaga (KRG15), Embu (EMBU1) and Kembu (KMB3).
As added value to our communities AMAFH FARMS limited is involved in the development of rural agriculture through promoting the growing of macadamia nuts for better and sustainable household incomes generation.
We have numerous small to medium sized outgrowers in and around Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa, Nyantungu, Fort Portal and Hoima. Other areas in Western Region, West Nile Region, Northern Region, Central Region and Eastern Region have over 100 small to medium sized outgrowers in various macadamia farming stages with 10% already harvesting the nuts.
We have a macadamia nuts Collection Centre in Kyenjojo which caters for all outgrowers with macadamia nuts in the sub-counties of Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa, Nyantungu, Bukaki and Fort Portal under a theme named MACADAMIA FAMILY. The Collection Centre staff gives the outgrowers technical advice about orchard maintenance and post-harvest handling of macadamia nuts in addition to buying the nuts harvested by the outgrowers soon after de-husking.
Similar arrangements are underway for the other potential macadamia producing areas in the country. In 2017 AMAFH Farms limited management paid a visit to Northern Uganda, that is GULU and surrounding districts, where some of the outgrowers are almost ready to start harvesting the macadamia nuts. The areas covered in the visit include Amuru, Kiryandongo and Nakasongola giving advice on macadamia nuts growing, seeing and getting first-hand information on the challenges the outgrowers are facing in growing the crop.
As part of our social responsibility program we support, and are involved in the development of emerging farmers by providing technical training and assistance with affordable macadamia good quality seedlings to encourage the growing of macadamias in the rural areas and ensuring good agricultural practices in the farms. We also look forward to continue improving on planting materials quality and service provision to the outgrowers. Low macadamia nuts quality remains a challenge for both farmers and the company as that causes losses in the business.
Some new out growers have already started planting macadamias in the West Nile Region and AMAFH will be visiting and giving extension services to them and getting new outgrowers to come on board in the production of the macadamias. We also like to cover the Eastern Region areas of Tororo, Mbale and surrounding districts soon as our target is that in the coming 5 – 7 years Uganda will be producing enough to be on the world map of macadamia production and the crop will be contributing significantly to the domestic income for the communities and the National Income at large.
We are planning to be conducting trainings for all farmers through group seminars and field workshops in out growers’ and our own fields to disseminate agronomic information to out growers. Peer learning will also be fostered.
We are also looking into the possibilities of facilitating access to funding for the macadamia farmers’ operations. That comes together with specialised macadamia farming inputs mobilisation program to be run together with inputs suppliers.
Out growers program targets
- Ensuring a constant supply of nuts to the factory by collecting nuts from all producing areas in Uganda
- Helping the company meet its end-market and volume requirements through outsourcing from farmers.
- Reducing the risk of loss for both the company and out growers.
- Increasing farmer productivity and profitability thus ensuring their continued participation and loyalty
- Demonstrating company commitment that fosters trust and creates strong relationships with out growers.
Allowing out growers to respond to different micro-climates and soil conditions and respond quickly to pests and crop diseases.