the pecan story
The history of pecans can be traced back to the 16th century. The only major tree nut that grows naturally in North America, the pecan is considered one of the most valuable North American nut species. The name “pecan” is a Native American word of Algonquin origin that was used to describe “all nuts requiring a stone to crack.”
Originating in central and eastern North America and the river valleys of Mexico, pecans were widely used by pre-colonial residents. Pecans were favoured because they were accessible to waterways, easier to shell than other North American nut species and of course, for their great taste. Because wild pecans were readily available, many Native American tribes in the U.S. and Mexico used the wild pecan as a major food source during autumn.
Over the last 30 years the demand for pecans and pecan products has increased in line with a growing global middle class and populaces that are increasingly health conscience. The lead time to commercial production is long (6 years from planting) and supply has generally lagged. However, production is estimated to double in the upcoming years with new and extensive orchards coming into fruit. The market demand is forecasted to grow by 400% over the same time span with Southern African production having an added advantage of being in season for peak demand periods whence trees in the Northern hemisphere are dormant.
80% of the pecans that are supplied to the global pecan industry originate from the United States. In most seasons, up to 140,000 metric tons are produced.
Pecan prices have risen steadily along with increased demand from consumers for healthy alternative food. In recent years China has emerged as one of the largest new markets for Pecans
Zimbabwe is well positioned to become a global player in the international pecan arena as-