As editor of The Macadamia and Shukela publications and what was previously the SADC Sugar Digest, I am proud to bring the new look Macadamia Africa & SADC Sugar Digest to our readers and advertisers.

Earlier this year, we made a strategic decision to combine into one publication the news and stories on the sugar and macadamia nut industries in the South African Development Community (SADC) countries.

The reasoning was that while the sugar industry remains critically important to the SADC region, the production of the macadamia nut as a valuable source of foreign currency has attracted the attention of both governments and the private sector, particularly in countries such as Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

In Mauritius, research is under way into the viability of the crop and there are indications that international companies are interested in developing orchards in Tanzania, Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

We want to keep abreast of these trends to make sure we bring a publication to the market that is relevant, interesting and informative, and gives real value to our advertisers and readers.

In this, the very first of the new look digest, we have started on an editorial journey aimed at supporting these two vital agricultural sectors, which not only provide much needed employment in the southern regions of the African continent, but sustainable economic activity and vital support for rural communities.

As a result we have used critical research to explore the sugar industry in Tanzania, and its role in promoting women in the sector, what the United States sugar sector is doing to turn the impact of its sugar tax into a benefit for the industry, and the rebuild among smallholder farmers since the category two Cyclone Idai in Malawi early in 2019.

Further, the Sugar Millers Research Institute is ready to roll out its ground-breaking technology across all sugar factories in the SADC region, aimed at improving extraction performance.

This publication also provides extensive information and an overview of both the sugar industries and the macadamia sectors across the region.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed putting it together.