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Farmers "go nuts" as they pocket millions in bonus points, mobile-based Sacco.

Raw Organic Macadamia Nuts.
Macadamia farmers have all the reasons to smile as they continue to enjoy decent returns from the macadamia tree.

Thika-based macadamia nuts processor, Jungle Nuts Holdings Ltd. has continued to share out their earnings with macadamia farmers through their Royalty points’ bonus programme where they earn 2% per tonne of nuts they delivered to the company.

Here, every supply the farmer delivers to Jungle stores accumulates Royalty points which converts to a bonus scheme. This acts as an incentive to farmers as they meet family obligations such as paying school and college fees for their children.

In the last financial year, the farmers earned a whooping total of KES. 350 million as bonus, with the firm issuing a record bonus of KES. 60 per Kg of organic nuts, KES. 30 per Kg of conventional nuts, in addition to far-get price of KES. 110 per kg.

“The whole concept is to encourage the farmers to increase production of the crop. We realised that the farmer deserved to enjoy returns of a good market, whenever it happened. Thus, at the end of every year, registered macadamia farmers will get bonuses starting from,” said the company CEO Eng. Patrick Wainaina in an interview.

The farmers have an option of trading their bonus with farm inputs such as fertilisers and seedlings.

“The farmers can use their bonus to take a loan from Jungle Sacco that is also targeting members who may want to increase their production but lack capital,” he explained.

Eng. Wainaina also said that they had launched a mobile-based Sacco to help farmers save and borrow cash for expansion.

The app, dubbed J- Hela, is geared towards empowering farmers, emerging entrepreneurs and welfare groups who may need fresh capital injection to expand their enterprises.

The platform is accessible on mobile phone by dialing a special code, which allows farmers to also borrow using their savings.

“The idea was inspired by the need to fix the financial gap among individuals and member groups who may want capital to take their enterprises to the next level and grow,’’ he explained.

He said that they were targeting its 40,000 members with the platform as they sought to diversify their revenue streams through new ventures. He added that, just like any other Sacco, this initiative enabled macadamia farmer to save money, secure a loan and earn interest form their savings.

“Any farmer who secures a loan from this Sacco gets the interest cost paid up by the Jungle Foundation. This is an incentive to our farmers to do even better,” added the CEO.

The battle for digital money transfer has been on the rise in Kenya with different players exploring innovation avenues to retain their customers.

Most macadamia farmers who supply the company with nuts are from Kiambu, Murang’a, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Embu, Tharaka-Nithi, Taita Taveta, Baringo and Trans-Nzoia.

Jungle Nuts Holdings Ltd. has been deepening its investment through subsidiaries in a bid to expand revenue sources.

As part of their strategy to diversify the firm’s products portfolio, they recently commenced a KES. 100 million plant to manufacture mattresses and eco-pillows. Other ventures by the firm include Jungle Housing that has interest in real estate targeting low-income earners, Jungle Energy that deals with the manufacturing of both wooden and concrete poles as well as Jungle Organic and Jungle Foundation.

The company recently entered into processing edible macadamia nut oil through a KES. 100 million investment, targeting the European market in a sector dominated by Bidco Oil Refineries, Kapa Oil Refineries and Menengai Oil Refineries.

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