Study looks at motivations of macadamia nut growers

A NEW study being done by Southern Cross University is digging into the motivations of macadamia farmers to help protect the industry's future.

The university, along with the Australian Macadamia Society, is trying to survey all macadamia growers on the Northern Rivers for a project, jointly funded by industry, growers, and government, called 'Understanding the social demographics and business aspirations of Australian macadamia growers'.

The study aims to identify challenges and aspirations of growers ahead of a restructure package being funded by one of Horticulture Australia Limited, which is the industry group helping fund the study.

"We are trying to get an understanding of the motivations of macadamia farmers. There is almost 100 fold difference between the best producer and the worst producer," said lead investigator Dr David Lloyd, from the university's School of Environment, Science and Engineering and who is being helped in the project by PhD students Kerrie Stimpson and Hanabeth Luke.

"To help ensure that this region remains a major macadamia production area well into the future, it is important that industry understands key issues faced by growers in order to best meet the needs of the diverse groups and individuals in this region.

"In Australia approximately 40 per cent of macadamia farmers are past retirement age. We want them to tell us, for example, if they are seeking assistance in selling their farms or assistance in increasing production."

"It is an opportunity to make a greatly valued contribution to AMS planning for the next 10 years," Ms Stimpson said.

The survey, which is open until September 20, took about 10 minutes to complete and was open to all growers, regardless of whether they were members of the Australian Macadamia Society.

"If you are the owner of a macadamia orchard I encourage you to take the time to invest in your industry by completing the online survey," Ms Stimpson said.

To do the survey, click here. For more information, contact Ms Simpson at kerrie.stimpson@scu.edu.au



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