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Former Teacher Earning Millions from Hass Avocado Farming in Tetu Nyeri

In this life, one has to plan for his future after retirement. At the outskirts of Nyeri county in Tetu Sub-county, Githakwa Village, you will find One Mr Kabue a former primary school teacher who after retirement decided to venture in Hass avocado farming. Mr Kabue has made life out of avocado farming and we have been following him since engaging us in 2014.

Why Did You Decide On Hass Avocado?

“Unlike old days, farming is different today. most farmers especially in Tetu used to grow tea, coffee and maize, if there was an avocado it would be in a corner somewhere. Nobody cared about it, nobody even remembered it until it matured. It was purely peasant farming with no intention of making money. That avocado probably wasn’t not planted or cared for. However, farming has adopted a different meaning for commercial purposes especially when it comes to Hass avocado farming”, Mr Kabue said.

He further explained that after visiting a few avocado farmers and doing his own research, he decided to try a few trees.

Where Did You Get Your Hass Avocado Seedlings From?

Hass Seedlings at Oxfarm.co.ke demo at Ridgeways Nairobi

Mr Kabue did a thorough analysis of the market and his land and decided to contact hass avocado seedling sellers. He had several options but later decided to buy 200 seedlings from Oxfarm.co.ke in 2014. He says that seedlings from Oxfarm are certified and are the real hass and that they (oxfarm) offers extension services advising farmers on how to do sustainable farming and the best way to go about tree fruit farming. He recalls, our officers going to his farm regularly to monitor the progress. compared to other sellers, Oxfarm will guide you and eventually connect you with the market.

Improving banana farming in Kenya through Value Addition

How Much Do You Get From Your Hass Avocado Trees?

Hass avocado
Mr Kabue’s Hass avocado trees

Mr Kabue says he cannot compare what he is getting now from Hass avocado and previous farming. His returns has increased tremendously and being a member of TEHU (Tetu-Huhoini) avocado farmers group, in 2018, all the members were able to sell their fruits at Ksh 12. Mr Kabue projects that the future of avocado farming in Kenya will rise and the prices can only go higher.

What Would You Tell Farmers?

Farmers should think business when it comes to farming. the traditional way of doing things has been overrun by events.” Why would someone keep on growing coffee hoping for better returns year in  and out?” Mr. Kabue Posed.  Although tea and coffee farming used to be good in their heir days, it has now deteriorated and cartels have taken charge of once central province economic power crops.

Many farmers venture into farming without key information and the project flops in less than an year. To avoid that scenario,  Mr Kabue reads widely on avocado farming like this and visits successful avocado farms. His focus was how to tend to avocado seedlings from day one to maturity, transplanting, monitoring, disease management and marketing matters.

Mr Kabue wants to have more than 600 Hass avocado trees by the end of 2020, a dream he says is achievable and will make him not just a millionaire but a force in matters farming in  his village. Imagine having 600 hass avocado trees where one can give you at least 1000 fruits, that loosely translates to 600,000 fruits. if one fruit can sell at a minimum of Ksh 10, Mr Kabue in just one harvest would have Ksh 6 million. How many kenyans earn that kind of money in an year??

 

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How To Make Your Own Success Story In Farming

Hass Avocado farming

Each and every farmer in Kenya has a dream and especially the small-scale farms which are the backbone of Kenyan economy. Here in Kenya, you must develop and answer some few questions honestly before you start your success journey. Follow the following tips and you might just be one of the most successful farmer in Kenya.

Value Your Customers

In any business, customers are the most valuable resource. Know what your customer needs and wants. Truly care about the customer’s health, well-being and satisfaction. Everyone deserves fair and honest treatment. Today’s trends focus on healthy, local and good tasting food. Provide the customers with high value products, service and experiences. A high quality product brings the customer back.

oxfarm.co.ke/tree-fruits/tree-tomato-farming/importance-of-value-addition/

Be Resourceful

You need to think out of the box and use what you already have. You do not have to be large or have all new equipment. Identify what you might have as assets like your location, soil and farm buildings. Also, inventory your skills, ability and passion. Your farming venture needs to make economical sense. It needs to make a profit for you  and it needs to be a value for your customer. This requires a well thought-out business plan.

Believe in Diversification

Some people argue that it is not wise to put all your eggs in one basket and we believe so. The world and eating trends are changing day in day out. Demand and supply can cause feast and famine. Multiple income sources can guard against weather issues, changing trends and challenging competition.

Dream your dreams

This is very important. Farming is not as easy as people think, you have to be patient and consistent. Formulate a vision and develop goals. Put a plan in place and evaluate your progress. Make adjustments as needed

 

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Significance of Hass Avocado Farming in Kenya

Hass avocado has continued to be number one success story in Kenya.

Both local and foreign investors have been putting up avocado factories in the country and have therefore improved prospects among local farmers.

Each year, more than 1500 avocado containers are shipped to Europe and the Middle East. New markets in Asia- specifically Russia and China are opening up opportunities for farmers and exporters, according to key industry players.

This has boosted the country’s profile as a top avocado producer among their other producing nations of Mexico, Chile, Peru and South Africa.

In recent years, the World Economic Forum has recognized Kenya’s avocado success story. Kenya has about 10000ha under the crop with more than 70 per cent of total avocado production coming from smallholder farmers. Increased investment by the county governments has come as a boon to many farmers who previously had to suffer low prices from ravenous brokers-fleecing farmers of their incomes. Contract farming has also encouraged farmers to improve their farming and replace old less productive trees with modern varieties.

tree tomato Pruning and why it’s important

Diversification Through Hass Avocado Farming

Farmers and especially in central Kenya where land has been subdivided many times becoming too small for commercial purposes have been force to diversify their thin king and they have over the recent years adopted hass avocado farming and macadamia farming.

With an acre of land carrying 150 avocado trees, and a single tree producing over 1000 fruits on maturity each retailing at an average of Ksh 10, a farmer is assured of 1.5 million from a single acre.

Production usually starts two and a half years after planting. Hass avocado and Fuerte varieties are the most sought-after. The latter is said to be a good pollinator popular with exporters while the former is more popular in Europe.

Countries that buy avocados from Kenya include United Arab Emirates, the UK, Egypt, The Netherlands, France, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Spain, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Germany and Hong Kong.

The government under CS Agriculture Mr Kiunjuri plans to expand to emerging markets such as Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.

What are you waiting for, we have told you before and we will continue emphasizing that hass avocado farming is the way to go.

Contact us for more details.

 

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Hass Avocado and Macadamia farming will Improve Lives “ Kiraitu Murungi”

On Friday 5th October 2018, H.E governor Kiraitu Murungi distributed hybrid Macadamia and Hass Avocado seedlings to farmers in Meru.

Although the governor was categorical that he doesn’t encourage farmers to uproot their miraa, he was quick to note that hass avocado and macadamia farming is the future.

In January 2018, Meru County government through the governor took major steps in empowering farmers in the region to embrace diversity and stop depending on traditional cash crops such as tea and coffee. Towards that end, the County’s Department of Agriculture promised to distribute half a million seedlings of avocado in the next two years.

Top Skills farmers need to be successful in Kenya

The Hass avocado species has been identified for the project which if successful, should see farmers earn at least ten thousand shillings from each tree every season.

As he was speaking at Gitoro ASK showground, the governor asked Trade and Industrialization CS and former Meru governor to help get a good market for farmers. He distributed over 400,000 seedlings.

With the demand for avocados growing in the west, Kenyan farmers are upping production of the coveted crop and reaping the benefits.

Farmers are now switching from coffee and tea to avocados in a bid to profit from the growing European demand. Kenya produces an estimated 115,000 metric tonnes of avocados annually, a figure that is about to increase as farmers embrace news.

Kenya is currently the world’s sixth largest exporter of hass avocado. In recent years, the popularity of hass avocados has increased and is driven by the global awareness of their health benefits.

However, there are concerns by stakeholders that Kenyan farmers should not rush to uproot their coffee trees in order to plant Avocado. This is because it takes about two to three years to start producing fruit, and a further two to reach maturity. However, you can inter-crop and later uproot coffee.

If you are looking for a better way to earn from farming contact us.

 

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Quality hass avocado seedlings and best packages

Quality hass avocado seedlings and best packages

Its yet another rainy season. Farmers all over Kenya are preparing their land for the coming short rain season. The question we are asking is, are you still going to grow maize and beans or have you thought of another better plant to grow? Hass avocado among other tree fruits has been picking up well in both domestic and export market. There a few Kenyans who will discourage others by telling them how avocado will be out of market and how it takes long to mature.

That is not true, avocado and especially hass avocado is always in demand in oversees country, more specifically in the European countries. Hass avocado is generally liked because;

  • It has a longer shelf life compared to the other varieties
  • Matures faster
  • Can produce more than 1000 fruits from a single tree
  • Its sweater and has a lot of fats
  • Has many health benefits

If you put all the above reasons into consideration, then you will realize that hass avocado farming is here to stay. We all know Africa is best in fruit farming because its strategically located at the equator and its warm enough. Not every country can grow avocados, countries in Europe experience very cold seasons and extreme hot seasons making unsuitable for farming.

It’s not just growing avocados, its growing them in the best way possible. Do your research, invest wisely and we assure you, you won’t regret.

Earn more than 10 million per acre with 40k investment.

Inter-cropping Hass Avocado with Vegetables

You can inter-crop hass avocado trees with fast-maturing crops such as legumes, beans and vegetables. The beans fix nitrogen in the soil, thus, making it rich for the avocados besides helping to utilize the farm to the maximum.

We highly discourage inter-cropping with crops that grow into trees because they will have deep-roots which will compete with those of avocados.

For the best seedlings contact us here and we will get back to you. Our seedbeds are located in Nyeri and Embu and we also have a demo farm coming soon in Nairobi (ridge-ways).

Check out our services and packages here.

 

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What are the most profitable fruits/crops to grow in Kenya Today?

1.      Hass Avocado fruits

Kenya is one of the few countries that enjoys equatorial climate. Most counties in Kenya receive a minimum of two rainy season. Hass Avocado fruits 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.

Avocado farming in Kenya presents a good opportunity not only for farmers, but a growing population of young people to venture into. The Kenyan market both domestic and export is growing but limited by the production capacity of the current farmers. The most popular variety for the export market is the HASS avocado.

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.

This year, Hass avocados is traing between 10 and 15 Ksh at your farm gate. During this rainy season, plant hass avocados, contact us for delivery.

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2.      Passion fruit

If you are looking for a high-value crop that can produce an income in the first year, take a look at passion fruit farming. Passion fruit farming has nearly unlimited possibilities from extended life span exceeding three years after establishment to ability to intercrop.

It doesn’t cost much to start growing passions for profit either — just a few shillings for seedlings and supplies. Demand for passion fruits is set to rise even more, due to changing consumer preferences as Kenyans move from carbonated soft drinks to fresh juices.

Furthermore, brands like Coca-cola, Afia juices, Del-Monte are already sourcing various fruits from farmers to tap fresh fruits processing segments. Despite all the interest by fresh drink processors, the supply of this fruit is scarce. This presents an opportunity for you as a farmer.

The crop produces high yields under proper care, for instance, a yield of 50,000kg of passion fruit per hectare has been reported in Kenya. The average price of one kilo of passion fruits is Sh50 in various market centres in the country. However, you can can still sell at a higher price through direct marketing. From one hectare, it’s possible to earn over Sh2,000,000; an earning that exceeds many other farming enterprises.

Furthermore, the maturity and ripening of the fruits, does not happen at the same time some take three days others one week while others two weeks. This is an advantage, as it will allow you to harvest weekly, and have time to market the produce. Starting as a small grower you will find lots of eager buyers at you neighbourhoods and supermarkets.

3.      Mushrooms

Mushroom production of late has captured the attention of the Kenya’s farming community with most mushroom farmers boasting amazing profits. Mushroom are land and rainfall independent hence making them the better option for those looking to maximize revenue from their land usage. For those without space to garden, growing mushrooms for profit can produce a great return in a small space.

Exotic mushrooms, such as oyster and shiitake, make sense, as they can be grown indoors without soil. They only require a house and your attention. Mud thatched houses can create the right climate for mushroom growing. The demand in Kenya is unsatisfied with data indicating that we are only producing 500 tonnes of these mushrooms against an annual demand of 1,200 tonnes.

Mushrooms can be grown using various substrates from agricultural wastes such as cereal straws such as maize stalks, bean stalk, wheat straw Coffee pulp, coffee husks, paper waste, papyrus, water hyacinth, banana fronds etc. Cotton husks, maize cobs, banana leaves, papyrus, grass straw, paper wastes, sugarcane bagasse and hay. Spawns ‘seeds’ can be easily obtained from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture, Science and Technology (JKUAT).

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4.      Macadamia Nuts

According to a research conducted by Oxfarm Ag Ltd, an acre of land will hold 100 Macadamia trees. This could earn a farmer, going by the present government set minimal returns of Ksh70 per kilogram of nuts, up to Ksh1,470,000 per acre if a farmer harvest 80Kg per tree, depending on farming practices and favorable climate. At the primary harvest, that comes 2 years after transplantation of seedlings, a farmer will fetch between 30kg and 50kg, reckoning on the range and the attention given to the trees. Production will increase with each harvest.

Due to high competition for the macadamia nuts by process and selling companies; most companies supply improved costs to farmers. This year, some firms offered the maximum amount as Ksh200 per kilogram of nuts, however external market factors forced the costs to drop to a mean of Ksh130 per kilogram.

Macadamia nuts will grow in most areas of the country, however production can vary depending on the number of precipitation, where farmers don’t have any access to irrigation water.

It is vital to consult experts on best varieties for given regions. The well-liked selection is Murang’a 20. It’s hardy and adapts well to completely different climates, with improved production throughout the year. Different varieties manufacture doubly a year.

If you would like money from your land, plant Macadamia nuts (its my best). Contact us for delivery.

There are other crops you can grow but we have highlighted a few that we think guarantee money in your pocket.

 

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Frequently Asked questions about Hass Avocado Farming in Kenya

Hass Avocado

Hass Avocado farming in Kenya is a topic that we all know it’s not going to end soon. Farmers and interested farmers have been asking us questions about hass avocado farming and the way to go about it. Well we are your eyes and ears, we will always give you information that will guide you in making those decisions that are difficult to make when it comes to farming. We are your partner when it comes to fruit farming and more specifically hass avocado farming. Here are some of your questions that we have tried to answer;

1.    Where do I get Hass Avocado Seedlings?

This is a question that is so common in Kenya. Over the past years, different companies as well as individuals have invested heavily in the business of selling seedlings. The main reason is because hass avocado fruit demand is rising day by day, hence the demand for seedlings. However, how can a farmer know whether the seedling is of hass variety and not fuerte or any other variety? Well I will tell you frankly that it is not simple, that’s why I would encourage farmers not to buy seedlings by the road side but rather consult and buy from certified groups. If you want genuine Hass Avocado seedlings buy here.

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2.    Where do I get Market for my Hass Avocado Fruits?

I will tell you in surety that, hass avocado market is overwhelming. If you interact with exporters such as Kakuzi you will learn that Kenyan hass avocado is loved and we can never satisfy the market even if we all planted avocado. Avocado is a fruit (healthy indeed) and as you might have learnt, due to many lifestyle diseases, people are urged to eat healthy. Our bodies requires fats but cholesterol free. Avocado fruit contain both vitamins and fats that are essential and healthy and are cholesterol free.

It is for the above reasons that you should not worry about market. Market will always be there, so get out there and plant an avocado today.

3.    Who are the main buyers of hass from farmers?

In this field, we have different players who buy directly from farmers. There are companies that buy avocado to process beauty products as well as oil. Others export the fruits just the way it is harvested from the farm. Therefore, there are as many buyers and exporters but just to mention a few, the biggest buyers are Kakuzi, Selina Wamucii, Olivado, Sasini, Mt Kenya Fresh Avocados e.t.c. What matters is quantity and quality, how many tonnes of hass can they get from you? How well have you taken care of them?

4.    What Do Exporters Expect From Hass Avocado Farmers?

Farmers must get it right when it comes to export. If you are planning on going commercial about hass avocado, you must get the right variety of seedlings and the requires fruit sizes. Export market requires quality produce. Export market demands for fruits of certain shapes and sizes. Buyers at the export market prefer size 12 fruits with dry matter content of 25%. In additional farmers should wait for the right time to pick the fruits and should never pick them before they are mature.

5.    Is My Area Suitable for Hass Avocado Farming?

Kenya 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. 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, avocados 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. Other areas include; Kisii, Nyamira, Kakamega, Bungoma, Transzoia, Nakuru, Uasingishu, Narok Bomet and some parts of Laikipia.

6.    Can I inter-crop Hass Avocados with other Crops?

As inter-cropping provides extra income, farmers can choose to have any kind of vegetable or pulse crops in the inter space. These crops may fix the nitrogen and suppress the weeds and increase the soil fertility. Only precaution should be taken care to grow the crops little far from an avocado plant. Therefore, Avocado orchards may be inter-cropped with other crops such as beans, peas, kale, or cabbage during the first 3-5 years to get economic returns from the land before the trees start bearing or produce economic returns.

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7.    How do I control pests and diseases in my avocado farm?

Biological pest control is by far the better option for avocado pests, as the incorrect use of agrochemicals on avocado trees could see minor pests develop into major economic risks. 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.

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.

8.    Should I Plant Two Different Varieties Of Avocados E.G Hass And Fuerte?

The type of avocado cultivars planted in an orchard will contribute to the expected yield. There are two types of avocado that flower at different times of the year (type A and type B). Mix both types in an orchard so that type A pollinates type B and vice visa. Hence cross pollination leads to higher yields than self-pollination. The presence of bee hives within the orchard is recommended as bees are the main pollinators of avocado. One should avoid applying chemicals that are harmful to bees.

9.    How Can I Avoid Flowers Abortion From My Hass Avocado Tree?

Avocado trees naturally experience a fairly large degree of fruit drop and there’s nothing you can or should do about this. Often, less than 1 percent of the avocado tree’s flowers will end up growing into mature fruit. Excellent cultural care practices during the flowering and fruiting stages helps to maintain an acceptable level of fruit drop.

 

 

 

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Hass Avocado Farming In Kenya From seedling to Export

hass avocado fruit farming in Kenya

Hass avocado farming in Kenya offers a good opportunity for youth and farmers to venture into. The market, both local and export is growing day by day but its limited by the production capacity.

Demand projections for the consumption of Kenyan grown Hass avocado fruits locally and internationally is increasing due to its inherent characteristics and adherence to Organic production. This agri-enterprise is ideal for Kenyan farmers and buyers finds them at their growing regions. The cost of production is low as it requires less labour,it is a perennial crop, resistant to diseases and pest which gives Kenyan farmers comparative advantage and well placed for organically grown Hass avocado.

Most growers of avocado are found in former central region, Kisii, and parts of western. However, north rift regions are becoming a force in the latest trends, bearing in mind they possess large tracks of land. In the recent developments, Kenya has witnessed increase in the number of countries interested in Kenyan fruits, some of these countries include, Russia, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and many more. Leading exporters include Kakuzi Ltd, Selina Wamucii, Mt. Kenya Avacado Farms.

National government through agencies such as KEPHIS, HCDA and the like have been on the fore front in improving hass avocado farming in Kenya. Local governments on the other hand have also played a great role in enhancing hass avocado farming in Kenya, for example, Mwangi Wa Iria, Muranga County governor has been providing farmers with hass avocado seedlings and marketing their produce to various exporters ensuring they get value for their produce.

Today in Kenya more and more farmers are compelled to start growing improved avocado trees, which will triple the countries production rates for exportation. The big season for avocado has begun with an expected high rise in volumes of exported avocados.

Ecological Requirements for Hass Avocado Farming In Kenya

Hass avocado farming in Kenya does well in higher altitudes of between 1000m to 2000m. Howevor, the fruit is somehow bigger in cooler areas as compared to warm areas. It requires an optimum temperature of 20-24 degrees celcius. Avocado, grows in deep soils that are well drained to avoid root rot. Although avocados are fairly resistant to drought, thy require well distributed rainfall of between 1000-1200mm for proper crop development. The best soils are sandy or alluvial loam with a PH ranging from 5-7.

Planting Hass Avocado

Hass avocado farming in kenya is is grown from seeds, however, to ensure you have the right hass cultivar, grafting is done which increases resistance to diseases, improves yield and increases its adaptability to different soils. Growers found that grafting small stems onto the seedling of another type of avocado produces a tree that matures faster and bears far more fruit than one grown from a Hass seed.

Planting material must be inspected by qualified personnel to ensure they are free from diseases. In case of newly cleared land, it is advisable to plant an annual crop a year before growing avocados, in order to achieve a good tillage of the cleared land. If there are strong winds, ensure the necessary wind-breakers such as hedges are in place.

It is advisable to plant the trees in straight lines to facilitate crop husbandry and harvesting. In Kenya, the rectangular pattern of planting is preferred for hass avocados, as it eases movement of machinery in between rows as well as other activities such as inspection, thinning, and pruning. Tree spacing depends on several factors such as soil fertility and climatic conditions. Spacing may range from, 5m by 5m, 6m by 7m to 8m by 10m.

The planting holes should be 2 feet by 2 feet. Use about one bucket of farmyard manure properly mixed with top soil. Planting should be done after the onset of rains when rainwater has properly penetrated the soil. When filling up the holes, do not damage the roots. Irrigate the newly planted Hass avocado trees or seeds preferably until the first shoots appear. Tie the young plants to sticks to support them.

Pruning hass avocados

Pruning starts at the planting stage where roots that are too long and do not fit in the planting hole are reduced in size. During the early stages of growth, trees are trained in order to maintain a good framework. Pruning is also normally done before flowering and upon completion of harvesting. The general guideline is that the tree canopy height should be 70% of row width. This allows light to penetrate. Pruning improves yield and provides a superior tree structure.

Thinning is also done by removing some of the already formed fruits in order reduce competition for nutrients, therefore ensuring high-quality fruits. Too many fruits will result to small sized fruits. Ensure weed is controlled to reduce competition for nutrients and water. Some of the methods for weed control are mechanical cultivation, cover cropping, and mulching.

Pests and Diseases that affect hass Avocado farming in Kenya

The most efficient and economical method of pest and disease control is prevention. These preventive measures include weed control, proper selection of planting material, maintaining optimum plant density and proper fertilizer application.

Hass avocado farming in Kenya is not considerably affected by pests and rarely will pest control require a chemical application. However, some of the major pests attacking avocados include, False codling moth which is a brownish, night-flying moth, thrips, and Scale insects

Fungal diseases may also affect avocados and therefore need to be checked. They include;

  • Root rot – Also known as Phytophthora cinnamomi, it is mostly found in areas with poorly drained soils and flood prone areas. Some of the preventive measures include fungal and hot water treatment of seeds and grafting on phytophthora resistant rootstock. There are two chemicals registered to combat this disease i.e. Ridomil, active ingredient Metalaxyl, is a granular formulation which is applied in the soil, and works by killing the pathogen. Aliette, the second chemical is applied onto the leaves.
  • It’s also called Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. It attacks the fruits, forming dry, dark brown sports. It mostly attacks mature fruits. It is controlled using copper based fungicides as well as spraying with chemicals such as Benomyl, Mancozeb, Metiram, Propineb, Thiabendazole or Triforine.
  • Cercospora fruit spot or Pseudocercospora purpurea also affects the fruits leaving small, light yellow spots which eventually turn to a brownish color on leaves and fruits. It’s controlled using similar methods to Anthracnose.
  • It attacks fruits, twigs, and leaves. Lesions emerge as little dark spots a little raised and are oval or elongated. It’s controlled using similar methods to Anthracnose.

Why Kakuzi Ltd is abandoning Pineaple and venturing into hass avocado farming

Harvesting of hass avocados

Kenya Hass Avocados flowers at around October and are mature for picking between June to September. It is important to know how to identify the correct harvesting period because avocados are harvested raw and ripen off the tree. Harvest a few fruits and keep them in favourable conditions to ripen. If the fruits ripen evenly, they can be considered to have been mature. Careful picking of similar fruits from the trees can now commence.

Avocado is harvested between April and September in Kenya. Since most varieties do not change colour on maturity, a few fruits should be picked and stored at room temperature for 7-10 days. If they soften without shrivelling, then the fruit is ready for harvesting. Fruit should not be pulled from the stalk but be cut off leaving a 3-cm stalk.

Postharvest: The following treatment, processing and packaging methods should be used to prolong shelf life:

Pre-cooling -After harvesting, avocadoes must be cooled as quickly as possible to the optimum storage temperature of 5oC for Fuerte and Hass varieties; within 5 h of harvesting.

Hot Water Treatment -This treatment is used to kill fungal spores on and in the skin of the fruit. The avocadoes should be immersed in water heated to a temperature of 50°C for 3-5 min. Treatment of fruit using fungicides such as Bavistin (Carbendazim) and Sporta K Brochlura z improves the effectiveness of this treatment.

Grading And Packaging– Avocado fruits are graded according to size and weight. Injured and diseased fruits should be removed. The fruits are packed as per the orders and quality standards in 4 kg cartons after all debris, soil and foreign particles are removed using a water bath. This water must be changed periodically to avoid cross contamination. A fungicidial treatment (Thiabendazole) at 300 ml per 100 L of water is used. The fruits are waxed, and dried in hot air. Avocado fruits are stored in cold storage (5°C).

Kenya Becomes an Avocado Powerhouse in Africa Overtaking South Africa

Market – The most important factors ensuring successful marketing are quality, packaging, rapid adaptation of exports to seasonal fluctuations and changing market situations (supply and demand), an intact logistical chain (including proper cooling along the marketing chain and competitive prices).

Investors who plan on venturing in the hass export business must clearly target the specifit market segment if they want to reap the full benefits of avocado-production. The export market doesn’t start with buying the seedlings for planting. Fresh products export needs a long term plan of venturing into one of the most stringent markets ever, more so for those targeting the EU food market, which is strictest in the world.

 

Hass Avocado Seedlings

 

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Best Agribusiness For the Youth to Engage in Kenya

Tomato Farmers in Kenya

Kenyan’s full potential in agribusiness remains untapped to an extent. Challenges that agriprenuers face include middlemen, weather and climate change, and low investment in the sector contribute much to what impedes the sector’s full potential.

Both the private and the public sectors should invest heavily in this wonderful sector, and the government shouldn’t be left behind. It’s disheartening that lending institutions such as banks easily give loans to real-estate investors yet find it hard to offer the same services to farmers, fearing the risks involved yet every undertaking has risks.

Other challenges include, poor quality farming inputs as well as pests and diseases that hamper farming. In order to cut middlemen, farmers should form saccos and cooperative societies through which they can market their produce without exploitation from middlemen and easy purchase of raw materials and farm inputs.

How to Cushion yourself from climate change?

Over reliance on the natural rain is a key in heightening the adverse effects of climate change on agribusiness and agriculture.

Reliance on rain-fed farming is key in heightening the adverse effects of climate change on agriculture and agribusiness. Investors in the sector should spend on modern innovative methods of farming such as using greenhouses, different forms of water-efficient irrigation, and artificial weather-controlled environment farming, among others.

Lets take for instance 2018 long rains, the rains were too much that Kenya even experienced flooding in some areas, in such days, farmers can collect water and store in dams, ponds, tanks and other similar water storage facilities. This always comes handy in dry season when they need the water for their crops and other uses in the farm.

Why you should have a working business plan for you to succeed in commercial maize farming

 

Benefits of investing in agribusiness

In agribusiness, you can as much as a million if you do it right. A tiny country like Netherlands feeds its population and still remains the second largest exporter of agricultural and horticulture produces.  Such an economy obviously has the benefits trickling down to farmers, which makes them rich. Agribusiness essentially is a rewarding sector.

Best Agribusinesses to engage in, in Kenya

First of all, youth should be attracted to farming and agribusiness. Greenhouse farming is among the best to start with.  Crops such as pepper, capsicum and tomatoes, among others, are good to start with. Bamboo farming is another good venture to invest in as the plant is versatile and never lacks markets. Pig keeping is yet another important project which youth can invest in.

Pig farming is another lucrative business to think about. For instance, Netherlands, a small country with a population of about 17 million people, has up to 10 million pigs, showing how important pig-keeping is important to the country’s economy.

Top 10 tastiest and rarest fruits in the world

Then there is hass avocado farming, which is among the most productive ventures globally at the moment. At Oxfarm we have a package that guarantees you money through hass avocado farming.

 

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Basic Characteristics of an agri-preneur

Agribusiness is important to global food supplies and developing economies. However, getting agricultural products from re-mote rural areas into larger markets has its challenges. These include a lack of intermediaries to develop relations between vendors, purchasers and contract systems. Other problems include inconsistent product quality and supply of products because of poor infrastructure. There is also competition in domestic markets from transnationals that can sell their products for less than domestic producers can. This is where an agri-preneur comes in; sees a problem and thinks of a solution.

What is agri-preneurship?

Agri-preneurship is a key factor for the survival of small-scale farming in an ever-changing and increasingly complex global economy. But what is agri-preneurship? How does it relate to small-scale farmers who operate on the edges of the economy?

Agri-preneurship is one way in which small-size farmers can confront issues such as under-employment and need for new jobs. Opportunities exist for farmers to create value-added agricultural products that are sold in local markets. For example, Oxfarm adds value to tree-tomato fruits to make juice and jam. Rural agri-preneurs can compete against larger corporations through a business cluster that controls significant quantities of local farm products.

Agri-preneurship motivations are important in understanding how the agri-preneur operates their business or defines success. Traditionally, the definition of an agri-preneur is an individual who starts a new business, cognizant of associated risks and ambiguities, for profit and growth. The agri-preneur takes advantage of opportunities and gathers resources, usually money, and other necessary non-monetary resources to turn their ideas into reality. Motivation for agri-preneurship, its meaning and measures of success differ among people, as well as countries, and by income level.

In addition, agri-agri-preneurship is tied to personal identity. Each agri-preneur seeks to legitimize their identity through business activities and thus their goals reflect the environment and social norms. For example, an agri-preneur in a developing country may view success as the ability to support oneself and one’s family. In contrast, another agri-agri-preneur may be competitive, seeking to be the largest and best in order to reach their goal to be a profitable self-supporting business, independent of others.

Read: How to make Silage for your Dairy Cows in Kenya

Agri-preneurship dynamics

Successful agri-prenuers in Kenya are highly knowledgeable, contacts with various people, innovates and adopts improved practices in agribusiness. However, there are many challenges that these farmers face: social barriers, economic barriers, regulations, access to finance and information, and their own managerial capacity to cope with risks and changes and to seize opportunities.

 Characteristics of an agri-preneur

  • An agricultural agri-preneur should be able to think purposefully in terms of farm activities. This is perhaps, the hardest task most farm agri-preneurs face. Most of the farm people find it easy to do, to act, to perform. Most farm people have difficulty, however, in thinking clearly about farm development. An Agricultural agri-preneur must be able to think.
  • An agri-preneur should be able to express himself clearly. The best conceived idea is worthless, unless it can be communicated. An Agricultural agri-preneur must communicate to farm laborer effectively.
  • An, agri-preneur in the farm sector must possess competence in farm operations. This does not mean that he must be a technician. But rather, he should possess the technical competence necessary in his field to enable him to manage the farm effectively.
  • Farm entrepreneur should possess the ability to think broadly. He should be able to see the overall, not miss the forest because of the tree. Broad comprehension is necessary so that he can see the effect of each proposed action on the whole of the farm activities.
  • An agri-preneur must know the actions and reactions of different farm people engaged by him in his farm or in the hired farm which he is managing, and he should have the tact, intelligence, foresight, etc., to channelize such actions and reactions for greater interest of farm activities in which he is engaged.
  • Agri-preneurs must take appropriate decisions with regard to farm activities from its very first stage till the last stage and he should know how to coordinate various stages of farm operations so that new result is encouraging.
  • He should know how to get various facilities extended by the government, semi-government and: other departments, institutions and organizations in time and in right quantity. This is a quality he must have to have for being successful in his farm activities.
  • He should also be able to think how his land can be used in the best possible way through multiple-cropping or double cropping and to make proper arrangements so that he gets maximum prices for his farm products. Production and marketing of farm products should be well coordinated.
  • He should be able to maintain daily records of the …..costs including depreciation costs of his farm activities and should make all possible efforts to reduce costs to the minimum and to have maximum return after selling his farm products. There should be a detailed costs and revenue accounts of his farm.
  • He should be able to think the feasibility of starting an agro-industrial activity to supplement his farm income. He should also see how he can earn more through subsidiary occupations.
  • He should work in such a way that he can minimize jealousy, rivalry etc. Among his neighbors so that his farm operations are least disturbed.
  • He should be tactful enough to avoid political pressure, if any, to influence his farm decisions.
  • He should foresee vested interests to disturb his farm activities beforehand so that he can take appropriate steps at the right time to minimize such influences, if any.
  • He should be dynamic. This is a trait that is characteristic of leaders and is essentially needed in a changing economy. This trait is a desire to move ahead, to change, to break new trails, to do bigger and better things. It is not an obvious personality trait. It is not a high-pressure personality. In fact, it may not even show on the surface. But it is desirable and usually spells the difference between passive agri-preneur and dynamic agri-preneur.
  • He should possess skill in human relations in the farm sector and have insight into human motivation and behavior, this enables him to lead, not drive, his farm workers.

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In the process of farming the farm agri-preneur will require to decide on the best size of his enterprise, the storage facilities needed, and the amount of credit required to implement the production plan. Similarly, the methods for land preparation, planting, weeding, irrigation, fertilization of land, controlling pests and diseases, harvesting, threshing and cleaning of produce need to be decided in advance. Decisions on all these issues are vital as they very much influence the productivity of an individual farm. Nevertheless, a serious obstacle is to be found in the shape of imparting appropriate training, to farmers in order to make them capable of taking decisions of various types, so that the farmer of tomorrow may also become a good agri-preneur.