Ilocos farmers to grow Hawaiian macadamia nuts

Written by Leilani Adriano / Correspondent

Monday, 28 September 2009 18:23

LAOAG CITY—Who says that macadamia nuts can only be grown in the state of Hawaii?

Not anymore, as interested Ilocos Norte farmers are now ready to cultivate a variety of macadamia nuts ideally grown in a tropical climate like in this province.

This was announced by Ilocos Norte Gov. Michael Keon on September 23 after company investors from Hawaii manifested interest in growing macadamia nuts in the province.

Based on scientific study, experts say Ilocos Norte’s rich soil and weather condition have been tested and proven “feasible” to cultivate macadamia nuts, a multimillion-dollar industry in Hawaii.

The proposed cultivation of macadamia nuts in the province, however, needs to be discussed further among Ilocano farmers and groups and individuals interested to venture into this newly introduced investment for the province.

The governor, who visited Hawaii together with some provincial board members, mayors and vice mayors two months ago, said it is a “good idea” to introduce the cultivation of macadamias in some idle lands of the province so that farmers, private business and the government could benefit from it.

This, however, does not mean that farmers would be shifting the traditional planting of cash crops like rice, corn, garlic, onions and other high-value crops, such as locally grown vegetables, but also to provide opportunity among farmers to try cultivating other alternative sources of income, like planting macadamias.