KENYA- Kenya is set to host the 9th International Macadamia Symposium in August 2021 owing to its increased small scale production of macadamia nuts, reports Business Daily.

Nut Processors Association of Kenya (NutPAK) CEO Charles Muigai said Kenya was chosen to host the event due to the success of the sector through small-scale farming, which typifies the country’s production system.

The symposium which is held every after two years pulls together experts, scholars, entrepreneurs and growers around the world to track the industry’s achievements and deliberate on the future of the industry.

NutPAK is one of the main organisers, with 800 delegates expected to attend the event.

According to NutPAK, Kenya has about 200,000 small farms currently producing an estimated 42,500 tonnes in-shell nuts.

During the last symposium, it was revealed that the global macadamia production was estimated 200,000 tonnes which is projected to grow by 38% to 276,000 tonnes in 2020.

“The symposium’s prevailing sentiment was that all macadamia producing regions need to work towards increasing investment in production and marketing.

As the world moves towards the production volumes forecast for 2020, a sound marketing strategy will be required in order to drive the demand needed to soak up the growing supply,” Mr Muigai said.

He appealed to the government to be one of the main sponsors of the coming symposium calling for the Kenyan government to emulate the Chinese government.

The government of China has supported macadamia sector through the funding of the International Macadamia Research and Development Centre established to promote the industry.

“China now has up to 200,000 hectares under plantation and will be the fourth-largest producer this year at around 20,000 tonnes.

Up to 80% of farms in the largest growing region of Yunnan are owned by small growers, with the government supporting them,” Mr Muigai said.

Contrary to Kenya, China, South Africa and Australia deal with large-scale plantations.

Since the ban of export of raw nuts in 2009, production of the nuts has risen from an annual production of 11,000 metric tonnes and four processors to over 45,000 metric tonnes and 30 processors by 2018 representing 20% of global production.

Anticipating increased production in the next five years, processors have created an installed processing capacity of 90,000 tonnes and are currently operating at 50 percent.