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Why you should invest in hass avocado

Kakuzi Limited a farm in Muranga has more than 408 hectares of land producing both Hass and Fuerte avocados. Kakuzi is one of the largest exporters of hass avocados in Kenya. The hass season runs from June to mid-September with Fuerte starting a little earlier in March/April.

On 08/12/17, the farm held its annual Avocado Small Holders Field Day; an event that was graced by Muranga Governor Mwangi Wa-Iria. Kakuzi and Muranga county government aims at educating, supporting and promoting increased productivity of avocado by Kenyan farmers.

The event brought together many farmers from Muranga county while others came from as far as Nyandarua county. The Muranga county government and Kakuzi company are passionate about addressing social issues, thus creating a sustainable society and providing an opportunity for development for all. The welfare of Kakuzi’ s employees and of the surrounding communities is therefore at the core if its operations.

During this day Earlier today, Muranga Governor Mwangi Wa-Iria presided over the avocados bonus award ceremony at Kakuzi Limited. The 19 million Shillings bonus will go to farmers who have sold their hass avocado to Kakuzi Limited through a partnership mediated and harnessed by the County Government. This partnership enables the avocados farmers to secure a steady market and better pricing.

Prior to the roll out of this marketing partnership farmers would earn as little as 3 shillings per fruit owing to exploitation by middlemen. However, depending on the grading farmers can now earn up to 35 shillings per fruit delivered to Kakuzi Limited. This initiative is part of the wider avocado farming programme instituted by the County Government to cushion farmers from externalities such as middlemen and fluctuating markets. The initiative also involves giving hybrid hash avocado tree seedlings to farmers in addition to provision of other farm inputs necessary for commercial avocado farming.

Strengths of Hass Avocados

  • The Hass avocado is one amongst the foremost common avocados within the world.
  • The merely natural Hass Avocado trees are acclimatized to most climates in Republic of Kenya
  • Kakuzi company has already oversubscribed several fruits before. Some investors are showing interest in this investment product.
  • There are prospects to intercrop the avocado trees with low and plantains.
  • Kakuzi buys Hass Avocado at between KSh nineteen and thirty-five per piece depending on size. currently that’s a high giving farmers a possible financial gain of Ksh.1.5 million per acre on the average.
  • In addition to the shopping price, farmers supplying Kakuzi get annual bonus at the end of each year. The best farmer this year got a cheque of KSh. 300,000.
  • The fruit contains a limitless market in Europe and that we simply can’t satisfy it. Most of the Hass exports (70%) are to France, whereas 15%  goes to the united kingdom with the balance distributed through alternative EU countries, Switzerland and Scandinavia.
  • Avocado is that the best paying fruit among the fruits oversubscribed overseas thus presenting a property high profit venture for Kenyan farmers.

Related post: Commercial Kiwifruit farming in Kenya

Why Invest in Hass Avocado?

Agricultural Investments will be the best performing investments for the next decade. This is because; the average age of farmers in Kenya and the entire World is over 55 and the rising population is dependent on industrial farms, artificial seeds, pesticides and fertilizers. It seems we are at peak yield and the world needs more food. Population around the world is increasing and food demand will mirror that. Global demand for this superfood is increasing.

 

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Hass-avocado Farming: Suitable Counties in Kenya

Hass Avocado is the new goldmine for modern farmers. Ever thought why county governments are insisting on Hass-Avocado farming?

Most of you must by now know that many county governments are encouraging farmers to plant avocados. This is so because hass-avocado does not require much labor and time to maintain. In addition, demand for avocado is extremely high and we just can’t satisfy the current local demand and in  European countries.

Before the market was regulated, farmers used to sell a fruit for as low as Sh1. Now they sell one for Sh8. Hass-avocado exporters sell the fruit for as high as KSh 30. Just last year farmers in Murang’a county earned Sh500 million from hass-avocados according to Governor Mwangi Wa-Iria. Hass avocado investment is bigger than coffee. One properly watered tree of hass avocado can give you 1,000 fruits a year, which comes to Sh8,000.

Avocados’ nutritional health benefit is also a factor that is boosting its demand. People around the world have the knowledge on its health benefits and wide variety of its uses. Guacamole food, with avocado as its main ingredient is very popular especially in America, greatly increases avocado consumption and importation

Related Content: Lucrative Passion-Fruit Farming In Kenya

Which are the Suitable Counties that Hass-Avocado Be Planted in Kenya?

Hass-Avocado treeKenya is one of the few countries that enjoys equatorial climate. Most counties in Kenya receive a minimum of two rainy season. Avocados are highly adapted to different rainfall conditions; however, the rain should be an average of 1,000–1,600mm per annum and well-distributed throughout the year.

Irrigation is essential where rainfall is not adequate. Although an avocado tree cannot tolerate wet soil, it needs at least 25mm of water every week during periods of insufficient rainfall such as in eastern Kenya.

Too much rain during flowering leads to shedding of flowers resulting in significant reduction in production. Fungal diseases also normally become problematic in very wet weather. A short period of dry weather of up to two months usually triggers flowering especially in tropical climates not subject to marked falls in temperature. The avocado tree needs high relative humidity at flowering (70-80 per cent), then moderate levels during the fruit swelling stage. Too much humidity encourages the proliferation of pests and diseases such as thrips, scales, cercospora spot, scab and anthracnose.

Counties in central Kenya, Eastern, Central rift valley, Lower Nyanza and all western Kenya counties have the best climatic conditions for hass-Avocado cultivation. In Eastern Kenya, avocadoes do well in certain pockets such as Kang’undo, Mua Hills, Kathiani (Iveti hills), parts of Mbooni, all in Machakos County, and the high potential areas of the larger Embu and Meru counties.

Hass-Avocado Market

In Kenya, avocado is one of the most consumed fruits that is readily available in the market all year round. Going by the latest HCDA statistics, avocado has a fair share among the leading export crops and Kenya stands out as a major player in the avocado export market. Locally avocado is sold at the market place from between Kshs10 to KSh 50 depending on the size and quality. Avocado trees are very productive and can fruit all year round. At maximum production, a single mature tree can produce 70 to 100 kg of fruits per year. Kenya has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of countries interested in Kenya avocados, these counties are, Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, France, Spain, Iran, Libya, and Egypt among others

 

 

 

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WHY YOU SHOULD PLANT AN ORANGE-TREE FRUIT TODAY

Sweet and juicy to taste, orange is one of the most popular fruits in Kenya as well as the world. Belonging to a group of citrus fruits called hesperidium, oranges have more health benefits than one. Here are the top 10 health benefits of the fruit that Kenyans ignore.

  • Boosts your immunity- A single orange can meet more than 100% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C. This vital nutrient helps improve your immunity, keeping you free from diseases and infections. Here are some more immunity boosting foods.
  • Good for your skin- As we grow older, our skin along with other body parts suffers from free radical damage. This process is like how metals rust after exposure to air.  Even though it is inevitable, oranges are packed with antioxidants and Vitamin C which slows down the process and makes you look younger than your age! Besides oranges, you can eat these fruits and vegetables for glowing skin!
  • Great for your eyes- Along with our skin, our eyes too suffer from damage as we grow older. Oranges are rich in nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C and potassium which are great for your eyes. So, if you want your vision to be just as good as it is now, eat an orange every day!
  • Prevents heart disease-One of the reasons why people get heart disease is because their arteries are blocked due to unhealthy lifestyles and consumption of junk food. Oranges have flavonoids like hesperidin which reduces cholesterol and prevents your arteries from getting blocked. This, in turn protects you from heart attack and various other cardiovascular diseases. Alternatively, you could try these 8 natural cholesterol busters.

Also Read: Regaining Kenya’s passion fruit farming

  • Helps in brain development- Folate and folic acid present in oranges promote brain development and keep the vital organ in mint condition. In fact, these nutrients also make orange a healthy fruit for pregnant woman as it prevents the baby from having neurological disorders later.
  • Prevents cancer- Having cancer can be a tough and harrowing experience for both the patient and the caregiver. Research has shown that a compound called D – limonene present in oranges can prevent various types of cancer like lung cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer, etc. Additionally, the antioxidants and Vitamin C help promote the body’s immunity which helps in fighting cancer cells. Here are some food habits to keep cancer at bay.

  • Keeps you free from stomach ulcers-Oranges are a very good source of fiber which helps keep your stomach and intestines healthy. A diet rich in fiber will ensure that you are not affected with ailments like stomach ulcers and constipation.
  • Protects your vision-Oranges also contain very good levels of vitamin A, and other flavonoid antioxidants such as alpha and beta-carotenes, beta-cryptoxanthin, zea-xanthin and lutein. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps the body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Great for diabetics-People who have diabetes are unable to absorb glucose since the beta-cells present in their pancreas either fail to produce insulin or the body’s cells are unable to respond to the insulin produced. Oranges are high in fiber and have a high glycemic index which makes it a good food option for diabetics. Also, worth mentioning is that good oranges have a sweet taste, and since diabetics aren’t allowed to eat sweets or other sugary foods, they can eat oranges to tingle their taste buds.
  • Prevents hair loss-Orange has high Vitamin C content which is required for producing collagen which, in turn, is responsible for keeping the tissues in your hair together. Nobody likes bald patches on their head, and eating oranges can ensure that you do not have to part with your lovely hair as you grow older.

How better can you get an orange than getting it from your farm, grow your oranges today by buying grafted seedlings from Oxfarm Organic Ltd. Visit our offices today or contact us.

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HOW TO IRRIGATE HASS AVOCADO TREE

HASS AVOCADO

IRRIGATION

1) WHEN TO IRRIGATE
The most efficient way to water is to apply water when it begins to show signs of stress from lack of water. It’s paramount to avoid water stress unless it’s by design to induce it; lest one may incur massive crop loss on both quantity and quality. The following signs are indications of water stress;
• Footprints or tire tracks that remain in the grass long after being made
• Many leaf blades folded in half.
• If a soil sample sought from a profile 1-2ft deep is not pliable and sheds into soil droplets upon dropping to the ground.
• Premature fruit drop and/or flaccid fruits on trees.

2) EFFICIENCY OF WATER APPLICATION

• An efficient watering does not saturate the soil, and does not allow water to run off.
• Avoid extremes in watering frequency and amount. If you apply too much water, it runs off and is wasted.
• On the other hand, light frequent watering is inefficient and encourages shallow/restricted root systems.
• Typically, 2-3 irrigation rounds per week in the peak irrigation periods is ideal. If rainfall occurs, irrigation should be suspended depending on the rainfall amounts.

3) TIMING OF IRRIGATION

• The best time to irrigate is in the early morning hours and /or late evening. Watering during the day can be wasteful due to evaporation.
• Avocados require 8000-9000m3 per Ha for the whole year, including water supply from rain.
• The avocado trees have varied moisture requirement in amount depending on the prevailing physiological stage.
• Aspects/stages directly influenced by optimal water regime on avocados include; Flowering, fruit set, fruit drop fruit sizing and fruit quality.
• In central region, 50-60m3 suffices to supply adequate moisture to 1Ha of avocados in a 2 week cycle of irrigation in dry periods.
• In a week, 50-75 litres being applied per tree will supply adequate moisture to support the tree during peak demands.

Below is a guideline on irrigation calendar for the small-holder farmer:
PERIOD PLANT PHYSIOLOGY IRRIGATION STATUS WATER VOLUMES AND ROUNDS COMMENT

DEC – MAR Fruit set and rapid expansion Irrigate fully until rain starts 25-35 liters per tree twice every week There must be no stress on trees
APR – MAY Fruit development Do not irrigate Rainy season
JUN – AUG Harvest Partially irrigate 5-10 liters per tree once a week Maintenance only
Sept-mid Oct Dormant period Do not irrigate Stress prior to flowering
Mid Oct-rains(Nov) Flowering and fruit set Irrigate fully 25-35 liters per tree twice every week There must be no stress on trees

4) IRRIGATION METHOD OPTIONS FOR SMALL-HOLDER FARMER

a) DRIP IRRIGATION
• Install a drip line in the orchard to be served by a tank through gravity. Ensure the tank is raised and/or installed on higher ground.
• 2 drip lines to serve a row of trees.
• The tank can be filled with water by manually pouring using jericans or through pumping.

b) MANUAL IRRIGATION
• Entails manually transporting water in 5, 10,15 or so liter containers sprinkling around the root zone.
• Care should be taken to avoid excessive water application that can lead to run-off.
• Water can also be applied using watering cans and these give a better distribution.

MULCHING
• This is important operation that helps retain moisture around the root zone.
• It’s important to maintain mulch around the tree always.

CONTACT US FOR MANAGEMENT AND SEEDLINGS

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COMMON PESTS AND DISEASES IN AVOCADO

HASS AVOCADOS

COMMON PESTS AND DISEASES IN AVOCADO
• It is good to note that avocado orchards enjoy natural enemies (predators and parasites) that are able to maintain a biological balance.
• Cultural control is also effective depending on the level of infestation.
• When both the cultural and the biological control system are not working, selective use of chemical insecticides to control pests and diseases is necessary.
• This approach is referred to as IPM.

a) MOSQUITO BUGS (Helopeltis schountedeni) – stainers
a. THE ADULT MOSQUITO BUG:
• Feeds early in the morning hours, late afternoon and at night. They fly quite fast and thus have a potential to affect many fruits.
b. THE NYMPH MOSQUITO BUG:
• They don’t fly and they only affect few fruits that are within their reach.
NB: THIS IS THE BEST STAGE TO CONTROL.
• To make decision on control method, we monitor for the two stages of the pest and for fruit damage.

b) FRUIT FLIES
• The female lays its eggs under the rind of an avocado fruit.
• Careful monitoring using pheromone traps is critical to establish population levels when to control and the efficacy of control measures taken.
CONTROL:
• Both natural and chemical methods are used.
• For chemical control, we bait. We use a protein bait as an attractant mixed with a chemical as the poison. Spays are to continue until the trapped number reach 0 and sprayed at low volumes.
• For cultural control method, the key thing is sanitation. Fruits fallen to the ground are also collected and disposed. Routine eradication of alternative hosts like guavas is also done.

c) FALSE CODLING MOTH (FCM)
• It is a major phytosanitary threat.
• When eggs laid on the surface of the fruit hatch, the caterpilars bore into the fruit, rendering it undesirable for consumption and leaving the fruit vulnerable to plant diseases and rot.
• Fruits may also ripen and drop from the trees prematurely. The resulting fruit loss and damage could potentially result in millions in economic losses. The fruit is prone to secondary infections.

d) SYSTATES WEEVILS
• Adult and systate weevil damage.
• Notched (uneven) feeding on the leaves is a classic sign of feeding by adults.
• This is significant on young trees and not big trees.
• The pest hide in the leaves, mulch and soil.
• Control is difficult because of their behavior. Cultural method of control is practiced. If pressure persist, chemical control is done.
• The timing of spray is critical.

DISEASES
• When you see diseases on the tree the damage is done
• Early detection is a great plus.
• Anthracnose & collectrotrichum
• On hass the symptoms will be seen as a bronzing, similar to mite damage on other crops, but has a small lesion and is described as “pepper spot”
• These diseases are most likely to occur during the wet conditions.
• When the fruit is small, i.e. smaller than pegion egg size, it is not susceptible.
• Fruits bigger than this size is susceptible to infection at any time under favorable climatic conditions for the fungus.
• Control with copper.

ROOT ROT MANAGEMENT.
i. Soil Selection
 Well drained and aerated.
 NB ridging/moulding.
ii. Resistant/Tolerant Rootstocks
 ‘Dusa’, ‘Duke 7’, ‘Bounty’
 Disease free nursery trees.
iii. Irrigation Management
 Beware of over-irrigation in sick trees
 Use of micro-jet or drip irrigation for better control.
iv. Chemical Control
 Young trees use Alliete paint.
 Mature trees inject with Phosphorous acid.

For more information on hass avocado management contact us or visit our offices at Hermes House Nairobi Tom Mboya street opp K.T.D.A