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Mozambique avails high-quality Mozambique almonds to its local market as well as the export market. Family growers with small tracts of land are the main sources of Mozambique almonds.
Mozambique almonds are some of the most essential agricultural exports for the country.
The crop is characterized by a height of 4-6 m with its diameter averaging 3-4 m. That nut found Almonds are basically the nuts found inside the fruits-the edible part. They are often eaten as raw or roasted. It is a hermaphrodite plant and largely relies on insects for pollination. Mozambique almond production was a booming sector before the country went into a prolonged civil war phase after being handed their independence. The war had adverse effects on the sector to an extent that it crumbled. Its re-inception in Mozambique came less than two decades ago. Initially, its adoption amongst local growers was slow. It took several years to get the sector producing the nuts in full swing like before. But the last decade has been different. Almond production has improved greatly with the list of its farmers growing with each passing day. It is now one of the most commonly farmed plants. Almonds are extensively farmed in the by the rural growers. The increase has also been linked with the increased demands of the nuts as well as its by-products locally and internationally. Farmers are now scooping better payments for their Mozambique almonds.
Land under Mozambique almonds covers approximately 799,380 square kilometres. The country exported almonds volumes valued in the region of USD 207,656.
The Netherlands is one of the biggest destinations of Mozambique almonds. The country’s other sizable export volumes land in USA, Australia, South Africa while both Singapore and China import Mozambican almonds in small volumes.
Mozambique almonds origin dates back to the Middle East where they were first domesticated before spreading to regions of the Mediterranean. They later spread to Turkey, Iran, Northern Africa, Southern USA and Australia. The plant was introduced into Mozambique by the Portuguese who colonized the country. Explorers are particularly linked with bringing the plant to Mozambique.
Almonds are a source of proteins in plentiful volumes that are essential to the human body. Other nutrients it comprises include carbohydrates, magnesium, lipids, phosphorous, zinc, fibres, iron and unsaturated fat. They are linked with lowering bad cholesterol, strengthening bones, preventing artery walls from damage, weight loss and reducing the risk of heart attacks. They also help the brain to perform at optimum conditions.
Almond oil can substitute olive oil due to their composition.
Almond varieties are grouped into two. There is one that comprises of the sweets almonds while the other has bitter almonds. The latter is mainly for oil extraction. The sweet almonds have a beautiful buttery taste and are the variety common in the market. They are often found in their shelled and unshelled form.
Mozambique Almonds are exported in various forms including shelled or unshelled. They include:
Fresh forms- They are raw as harvested from the fields. Also linked to a juicy and crispy taste.
Dried forms– Usually a bit sweet but also partly bitter. Mozambique almonds are also exported in their roasted forms.
The harvesting exercise of the Mozambican almond is performed with a lot of caution. Stringent measures have been put in place to ensure the almond that ends up in the market meets the required standards. Exporter dispatch agents to the fields to ensure healthy and contaminated free conditions are in place before harvesting begins. The growers weed the fields to help prevent contamination. This also helps them gather fallen seeds. Due to the varying heights of trees ladders are used to reach all fruits. A single tree can harvest even more than 25 kilograms. The seeds are then transported to designated packing sheds where they are cleaned and sorted.
Mozambique almonds are processed through a kernel roasting mechanism. The shells are allowed into streams of hot air before being pushed into a sieve. Light debris passes through the sieves while the shell remains behind.
What follows is roasting the shelled kernels via a steaming procedure which takes less 20 minutes. They then are dried for 24 hours. The process softens the shells making them easy to peel out. Only the inner kernel wall is left shielding the white flesh of the nut. The nuts are later placed in ovens for a few minutes to peel this layer. The nut remains undamaged. Finally, the soft shells are hand-shell thus exposing the raw nuts.
The final step is grading. Mozambique almonds are graded in their nutty, white raw forms. Grading begins with almonds of the biggest size, those that have creamy colours and soft textures. The rest are graded in descending order. Small seeds represent lower grades.
Another optional procedure entails dipping the nuts in an oven making them crispy, golden in colour and very sweet. This is the form that is packed in the packets.
Mozambique almonds are packed in multiple PET tins that have a square shape. Every tin carries approximately 11.3 kilograms although others weigh up to 10 kilograms.
They are fitted with vacuum lids which keep them properly hydrated hence ensuring they get to clients with a bit of moisture- 8% of their dry matter. Polly sacks are also used to extend the shelf life of the nutty seeds.
They are stored in cold and humid conditions of at least 5° Celsius room temperatures while transportation is also undertaken in similar conditions.
The cargo reaches all destinations within a day or two after dispatching which is often by air.
Mozambique almonds are usually grown organically. Growers cultivate them under Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) as they keep off any chemical sprays or fertilizers. Prices are relatively fair to fit clients’ budgets. The fact that only a selected group of growers provide Mozambique almonds for export has ensured the nuts meet international standards year after year. Make your order today!
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