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TIRED OF GROWING MAIZE AND BEANS, TRY HASS AVOCADOS

TIRED OF GROWING MAIZE AND BEANS, TRY HASS AVOCADOS

Avocado farming in Kenya presents a good opportunity not only for farmers, but a growing population of youths 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. Kenya produces an estimated 115,000 metric tons of avocado annually, 70% of which is grown by small-scale farmers. Some years back, most of the avocados were sold in local markets, but this has drastically changed today, where three quarters of the avocado fruit grown is exported to other countries.

CONSUMPTION OF HASS AVOCADO

Global avocado consumption is growing by about three percent every year; however, production growth remains a little behind. For now, the market is big enough for all players involved. Consumption is growing rapidly especially in North America and Europe. At present, Europe is recording high prices due to slow supply. In America, prices remain at a reasonable level. China is a major import market. Worldwide investments in the product are on the rise.

Hass avocado does well in altitudes between 1000m to 2000m. The fruit is generally bigger in cool areas as compared to warm areas. The optimum temperature is 20 to 24 degrees Celsius. Although avocados are resistant to drought, well-distributed rainfall of between 1000-1200mm is adequate for proper crop development. They also require well-drained soils to avoid root rot. The best soils are sandy or alluvial loam with pH ranging from 5 to 7.

Traditionally Kenya is known to grow maize, potatoes and beans, but Kenyans are taking a different path, specializing in growing the Hass avocado variety, which can be intercropped with beans and vegetables in a bid to diversify agribusiness. Beans are known to fix nitrogen in the soil, thus, making it rich for the avocados besides making you as a farmer utilize your farm well and make more money.

YIELD OF HASS AVOCADOS

Hass avocados yield depends on numerous factors which include plant density, disease control, soil fertility among others.

The yield depends on several factors such as proper pest and disease control, plant density, and soil fertility among others. Generally, the average yield of Hass avocados in Kenya is 90,000 fruits per hector.

There is great potential for Hass avocado production in Kenya, especially for export. Some regions especially the central region and the rift valley region have impressive climatic conditions to produce this fruit.

The biggest challenge, however, remains lack of understanding among some farmers on the pesticides minimum residual levels (MRL) guidelines by the European market. Without this crucial information, there is a danger of farmers producing fruits only for them to be rejected by the export companies.

Every effort should be made to sensitise the farmers about these guidelines to ensure the highest export quality of Hass avocado that is produced in Kenya. Oxfarm Organic has experts who will advise on the best ways of cultivating Hass avocados from land preparation all the way to harvesting to ensure maximum returns.

With only Ksh 40,000 investment per acre, Oxfarm Organic can make you earn 10 million in less than 10 years.

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