Rwanda has the ideal climate for growing high-quality macadamia nuts. But since smallholder businesses primarily control production with limited technical know-how, the potential is underutilised.
Ten Senses Africa (TSA) is dedicated to producing organic products thanks to Fair Trade and ethical best practices. To develop such a sustainable value chain that focusses on Fair Trade nuts from East Africa, the company uses a private-sector approach to create profitable agricultural businesses that integrate commercial and farmers in the value chain. The organisation works with more than 1,500 farmers and supports their Fairtrade and organic certification. Their competitive advantage lies in their ability to supply exclusively fair trade/organic nuts for niche markets in the US and EU. Ten Senses Africa employs more than 300 women directly in processing factories and indirectly impacts more than 50,000 individuals. After Kenya, TSA looked at expanding their supply base to the underexploited macadamia sector in Rwanda (+/- 120 farmers).
In 2015, TSA and the TDC joined forces. TSA made available its technical know-how by providing agronomists and training producers. It also provided quality seed material that could be tested and multiplied in several nurseries and it established its own processing entity. The TDC supported Rwandan members to obtain certification and TSA coached them in the field of marketing. In Rwanda, 838 farmers joined TSA.