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GOOD RETURNS THROUGH HASS AVOCADO FARMING

Avocado farming in Kenya presents a decent chance not just for farmers, however a growing population of young people to venture into. The Kenyan market whether domestic or export is growing however restricted by the production levels of the present farmers. First and foremost, common selection for the export market is that of the HASS avocado. Hass could be a semi-spreading tree requiring a minimum of a 5M by 5M planting distance at maturity. It’s a generous bearer of fruits.

We at Oxfarm Organic Ltd have a privilege of interacting with farmers from central Kenya who started Hass avocado farming in 2010 from hass seedlings. Four years down the road his trees were of fruit bearing age and in 2016 his venture was commercially viable. Further interactions disclosed his preference of avocado farming to alternative crops is growing, this was when a prepared export marketplace for his product at 8-15 ksh per fruit, he delivers his product on to an exportation firm.

Best Conditions

The climatic conditions in most localities of the country square measure ideal for Hass selection farming. Hass Avocados are sensitive to wind, which might cause fruit drop and defoliation. Trees ought to be settled in safe areas. Planting of avocado trees is completed at a spacing of 5M × 5M with an acre carrying an approximation of 150 seedlings. Dig planting holes 60cm by 2ft separating top soil and the other soil, combine the top soil with 20kg of well rotten manure, take away the seed plant from the pot keeping the basis and soil structure intact, and plant the seedling using the top soil mixture. The soil is also accustomed to creating a basin round the plant.

Expected Returns in A Year

We could verify production per tree by indiscriminately sampling trees within the farm. Production averaged sixty fruits per tree, this was what we tend to be able to count and will be additional before the top of the season. Please note gather is completed double in one year.

Average production per indiscriminately sampled tree yielded 600 fruits at its fifth year in one season, production is 2 seasons annually. At a median value of 10 shillings per fruit the returns per tree annually quantity to 6000 ksh. It takes one hundred or additional fruits to form a meaning financial gain of over hundred thousands ksh.

Related Content: How well-planned are you for tree fruit farming this season?

NB: There are many alternative Avocado fruit varieties however this is often the foremost common for the export market and includes a high production, because of its quality for domestic and export consumption it fetches high costs compared to ancient varieties.

CAUTION: The Grafted seedlings verify the fruit selection for mature trees, get your seedlings from certified farmers like us.

 

For more information kindly contact, us or visit our offices.

 

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Kenyan Avocados: Connecting to High-value Export Markets

Kenya is frequently cited as a “bright spot” in African agriculture. Conducive government policy, strong donor support and private-sector leadership have helped to create success stories in exports to the EU. Policy changes supporting this growth include the liberalization of the fertilizer market. Following the removal of price controls and subsidies, increased competition led to lower fertilizer end-prices, triggering a 14 percentage-point increase in adoption rates among smallholders. Today, agriculture amounts to half of Kenyan GDP and employs 75% of the Kenyan workforce. Kenyan policy-makers and agribusiness players continue to prioritize the growth of agricultural exports, both in green beans and other cash crops like avocados. be

Kenya is one of the world’s largest producers of avocados, with production of 200,000 tons in 2017.For comparison, the largest producer is Mexico with about 1 million tons produced annually. Local varieties dominate Kenyan production (about 70% of total), whereas Fuerte and Hass, the varieties suitable for export, make up approximately 20% and 10%, respectively.

 

Kenyan Avocado Export Supply Chain

 

An estimated 70% of Kenyan avocados – even those for export – are produced on smallholder farms. When not linked to exporters through an out-grower scheme, farmers market their avocados through middlemen, either legally government-certified agents or unofficial brokers. These middlemen typically harvest avocados themselves and organize transport to Nairobi packhorses. This initial leg of transport is usually done with small pickup trucks. Once at the factory, avocados are quality-checked, sorted, washed, waxed, pre-cooled and packed in cartons. Once packed, exporters stuff the cartons into refrigerated containers (“reefers”) outside the processing gate, and shipping companies then transport the reefers to the Mombasa port. There, the reefers, which are controlled-atmosphere-treated, are loaded onto a ship and later trans-shipped in Salalah, Oman. Finally, the reefer containers are unloaded in Europe and delivered to importers

Most often vertically integrated with exporters, packers procure and package a 4-kilogram (kg) carton of avocados at a cost of about US$ 4.10. An additional US$ 1.60/carton is required for shipping to Europe by sea in a reefer. With the import price fluctuating around US$ 7-8/carton, the supply chain overall is profitable. This situation was enabled by government-led infrastructure investments, followed by private-sector investment in reefers, which helped to reduce transport costs versus expensive air shipments. Once this tipping point of profitability was reached, investments started to naturally flow into the sector.

Impacts of Supply Chain Barriers and Potential Solutions

Successful initiatives to overcome supply chain barriers are presented, as well as some remaining opportunities to overcome challenges to future growth.

Transport and Communications Infrastructure

Mombasa is the pivotal port for East African countries and is accessed via the main corridor, the Nairobi-Mombasa highway. By the early 1990s, the quality of this road had deteriorated due to high traffic. The Kenyan government, with the help of the World Bank and the EU, decided to invest in rehabilitating the highway.  Investments were made over approximately a decade, ending in 2005. Travel time from Nairobi to Mombasa was reduced by 40%, from 12 to 7-8 hours, and costs decreased as well. Typically, road rehabilitation projects in East Africa drive operational cost reductions of 15%. Although this saving has a marginal impact on the Kenyan avocado industry – less than 1% of the European end price – the incremental benefit is applied to many different value chains. The overall benefit for Kenya and Kenyan agricultural export value chains is thereby important.

Also Read: how to grow peaches and nectrines

 

Introduction of reefer container technology has made Europe accessible for Kenyan avocados.

One of the major challenges previously faced by this industry was the lack of suitable transport equipment. If not cooled, avocados ripen faster than the time it takes to ship them to Europe. Exports to Europe, therefore, were only possible through expensive air shipments. Alternatively, transporting by sea was only feasible for the more proximate Middle East, where avocados sell for much less than in Europe.

Recognizing this opportunity, exporters first engaged temperature-controlled, break-bulk vessels to replace expensive air freight. They then approached A.P. Moller-Maersk to present the business case for refrigerated container transport. Shipping companies consider a number of factors when evaluating a value chain for reefer investment. Most importantly, they look at the economics and growth potential of the value chain. In this case, if Kenyan avocados were able to be sold profitably when transported by air, there was a clear case for investment in sea freight, provided quality could be maintained during the journey. In addition, key enablers must be in place to ensure sustainable operations. Fortunately, the Kenyan government had invested in the Mombasa port and was able to provide the necessary infrastructure (e.g. specific plugs, berth capacity) to support reefers. Continuous investments are being made to accompany the growth of reefers in the Mombasa port, including a new berth to open this year.

Read Also:Macadamia nuts farming: How to get most returns

Early packing of containers ensures an uninterrupted cold chain. When dealing with perishable produce, maintaining an uninterrupted cold chain is critical for food quality and safety. When reefers were first introduced, exporters preferred to transport avocados to Mombasa in regular trucks and pack the reefers at the port. Over time, exporters realized that they could command a price premium in EU markets if a cold chain was begun as close to the farm as possible. This price premium outweighed the costs of bringing an empty reefer to Nairobi and loading it at the pack house gate. This extended cold-chain-arrangement also simplified logistics by eliminating one touch-point at the port, and is now common practice.

For more information on how to become a better Hass Avocado Farmer, kindly visit our offices or contact us.