Fresh round nuts shortages hit market Dr Charles Dhewa

Ashton Mutyavaviri

THE prevailing El Nino-induced drought has caused fresh round nuts shortages in mass markets countrywide, which has seen some traders charging prices averaging between US$10 and US$15 for a 20-litre bucket.

In a recent mass markets trading update, Knowledge Transfer Africa chief executive officer Dr Charles Dhewa said mass markets had been hit by round nuts (nyimo) shortages although a bit of the product was coming in.

Dr Dhewa observed that the current global trends on eating healthy traditional foods had also reached Zimbabwe’s shores, hence the scramble for crop products such as round nuts.

“As you may have observed, round nuts (like most legumes) are a good source of protein as well as fibre, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, folate, potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium so people want them to be a part of their diet. Many have since resorted to buying dried round nuts for mutakura at between US$20 and US$25 aåç 20-litre bucket,” he said.

Round nuts have always been a part of Zimbabwe’s delicacies for generations and are grown in most parts of the country.

They are a good source of protein, easy to prepare and usually consumed as breakfast or lunch by millions of people in Zimbabwe, added Dr Dhewa.

“What is exciting, however, is not only the treasured history Zimbabwe has with the product, but the potential to earn millions on the export markets, as the demand for the product is anticipated to grow around the world,” said the KTA boss.

Because round nuts are a low-fat and high fibre food, they help reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart malfunctions. They promote good health of the heart by lowering the blood cholesterol through the soluble fibre that is found in them.

High protein composition and amino acids in round nuts promote healthy brain function for learners. The brain requires a steady supply of amino acids in order to keep concentration, focus and energy levels up.

Meanwhile, the Crop, Livestock and Fisheries Assessment Pre-harvest report 1 has, however, revealed that round nuts hectarage has dropped by eight percent from 131, 421 in the 2022/23 season to 121, 211 in the 2023/24 cropping season.

Only Matabeleland South and Masvingo recorded increases after scoring 25 and 18 percent growths from 7 151 to 8 915 and 33 839 to 39 951 hectares respectively between the 2022/23 and 2023/24 season.

Matabeleland province recorded the highest percentage decline of 44 percent followed by Midlands with 25, Mashonaland West 24, Mashonaland East 6, Manicaland 11 and Mashonaland Central at 4 percent.

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