Posted on

6 REASONS WHY FARMERS ARE SHIFTING FROM COFFEE TO HASS AVOCADO FARMING

Since it’s becoming difficult to gain profit from growing coffee, farmers in Kenya are switching to new ways of earning money. Over the past few years, coffee prices in the global market have been falling at an alarming rate. For this reason, farmers in various parts of the country have shifted to hass avocado farming which is more lucrative compared to coffee. Apart from the rising demand, competitive prices, and favorable climatic conditions, avocados are easy to plant and harvest.  The costs of production for farming avocados are relatively low. Due to the high demand, farmers save transportation costs since buyers prefer to purchase the produce on the farm before someone else does. Furthermore, it is easier to boost production since farmers can keep bees to promote pollination.

One variety that has become popular among farmers is hass avocado. This is because of its rising demand in the local and international markets, more yield, healthy benefits, and fast maturity. Currently, hass avocado is the second profitable crop after coffee but if the trend continues, it will overtake coffee in a couple of years.

Reasons Why Farmers Are Shifting From Coffee To Hass Avocado Farming

Favorable climate

The effects of climate change such as unpredictable weather patterns and cold and dry spells have affected coffee farming and increased the cost of production. Unfortunately, the income from coffee has been relatively low making the crop unattractive. Kenya’s climatic condition favors avocado farming especially high altitude areas such as Central Kenya. However, the crop can thrive nearly in all parts of the country. The temperate climate in the country is well suited for hass avocado cultivation. Since they perform well in dry and wet regions, farmers are finding this crop a better alternative to coffee.

Increased Demand

The demand of hass avocados in the local and international market has mainly been fueled by its nutritional health benefits. The demand is increasing in the developed countries where they care more about health, considering that most Kenyan avocados are produced organically and chemical use is limited. Hass avocado is common in most dishes locally and internationally. For instance, they are the main ingredient in Guacamole, which is popular in Europe, Asia, and America. In Asia, the consumption of Kenyan hass avocados has increased in China which has offered a good and lucrative market for the fruits. China’s population is high and hence it will take a couple of years to meet the rising demand. Some of the countries that are interested in Kenya avocados include Belgium, Russia, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, France, Singapore, China, UK, Egypt, Libya, Hong Kong, and Iran.

Hass Avocado
Farmers Harvesting Hass Avocado in Tetu Nyeri

Higher prices

Over the years, coffee prices have shown a downward trend, falling at an alarming rate. Coffee farmers are getting little income from the crop. Due to the low prices, farmers have reduced the acreage under coffee and shifted to better-paying crops. For instance, one kilo of coffee is retailing for KES 55 in the Kenyan market and only KES 115 in the international market. In the international market, one carton with 10 avocado fruits even goes for KES240. This shows that the yield of 7 avocado trees can even generate more income that 500 coffee trees.

More yield

The average yield of hass avocado is higher compared to coffee. For instance, when well-spaced, one acre can occupy about 110 trees. When using the high-density method, one acre can hold up to 400 trees. When proper farming methods are employed, each mature tree can produce about 100 to 600 fruits. This shows that the yield of about 30 trees is even higher than that of one acre of coffee. For this reason, farmers are shifting to this crop since it has more yield and higher prices in the local and international markets. Furthermore, the crop can grow alongside banana and other crops, especially in terraced orchards hence more income to the farmer.

Less Labor

Hass avocado trees require little maintenance but produce more yields per tree and hence a good earner crop, unlike coffee. Unlike hass avocado, coffee needs constant pruning to keep the bushes in good health and under control which increases labor and costs of production. Hass avocados can only be pruned once in a while to promote light penetration, reduces instances of fungal diseases, and encourage regular shoot and branch renewal. Oxfarm does planting for customers at a package of 40, 500 per acre.

Prompt payment

Unlike coffee where farmers have to supply coffee berries and wait for months before they get paid, payments are prompt for hass avocados. The market is liberalized and the prices competitive, unlike coffee where farmers have to sell their coffee through cooperatives. Buyers compete for avocado fruits on the farm make payments immediately they get the produce.

Posted on

Basic methods of improving your Hass avocado productivity

Hass Avocado Farming

Fruit farming is an important venture but becomes more interesting and profitable when it is done as an agribusiness. There are various ways in which you can improve your hass avocado productivity. These include;

Planting in Suitable Climate

When growing hass avocado for commercial purposes, climate plays an important role in determining if your plants thrive. They should be planted in a suitable climate that favors avocado farming for optimum production. Hass avocado thrives in average temperatures ranging from 140C to 270C. The plant requires high humidity, especially during the flowering and fruit setting stage.

Constant Irrigation of Hass Avocado

Soil moisture is an important factor that should be taken into consideration in hass avocado farming. During vegetative growth, avocado orchards grow vigorously and require constant irrigation. During the dry season, reduced irrigation slows down the growth rate. In poorly drained soils, the plants should be irrigated at a controlled rate to enable them to take up water efficiently and to minimize waterlogging. Avocado plants are sensitive to frost and hence water stress should be minimized during the flowering and fruiting stage.

Fertilization

Hass avocado plants require nutrients throughout their growth. Although they can grow in all types of soils, they perform better in fertile and well-drained soils. Organically, this can be done by applying manure regularly. Plants respond well to heavy manure application, especially when it contains high nitrogen content. Fertilizers should be applied based on soil and leaf analysis. A complete soil analysis should be conducted a few months before planting to check the nutrient status. Also, an irrigation water analysis and leaf analysis should be conducted. The soil nutrients status, plant size, water quality, plant density, soil nutrients status, and yield expectation determines the type of fertilizer required by the hass avocado plants. However, fertilizers should not be applied to early on young transplanted trees. Fertilizers should be applied when the plants are properly established and growing vigorously. To ensure optimum results, fertigation should be ensured for irrigated hass avocado trees to enable even distribution of fertilizers.

Important Nutrients Required by Hass Avocado

Nitrogen, Potash, and Phosphorus should be applied regularly to the plants especially during vegetative growth. Avocado trees also require Magnesium, Zinc, and Sulphur. For instance, Urea should be applied at an interval of 3-4 months. Nitrogen deficiency causes early leaf shedding, pale, small leaves, slow growth, and yellowing of veins in severe cases. Too much nitrogen, however, results in excessive vegetative growth and reduced production. Regular leaf analysis should be conducted to determine when nitrogen application is required. To achieve healthy production and an excellent growth rate, inorganic fertilizers should be applied along with manure.

Pests and Diseases control

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. The presence of pests in avocado plants reduces productivity significantly. 

Pests in avocado production are not common in Kenya. Pest control rarely requires chemical control. To improve avocado productivity, pests and diseases should, however, be controlled. Some major pests that attack avocado include:

  1. Thrips
  2. Scale insects
  3. False codling moth

Fungal diseases also affect hass avocados and need to be controlled early enough. Major diseases are:

  1. Anthracnose. It attacks fruits especially the mature ones forming dark brown spots. It can be controlled by using fungicides such as Mancozeb, Triforine, Metiram, and Benomyl.
  2. Root Rot. This disease is common in flood-prone areas and places with poorly drained soils and attacks the roots. Some preventive measures include planting grafted hass avocado seedlings. Chemically, it can be controlled using chemicals such as Aliette and Ridomil.
  3. Cespora Fruit Spot. The disease attacks fruits and leaves leaving yellow spots on fruits later on turn brownish. It can be controlled with copper-based fungicides such as Mancozeb, Benomyl, and Trifoline.
  4. Scab. It mainly attacks twigs, leaves, and fruits. It can be controlled by spraying fungicides such as Mancozeb and Triforine.

Other Factors Influencing Productivity

Mulching

Mulching minimizes soil erosion especially in sloping orchards and minimizes water loss through evaporation. This will help to minimize moisture stress.

Tree Spacing

Spacing is a key factor in maintaining and maximizing productivity. Good spacing helps in ensuring aeration in the orchard. High-density plantation results in higher production although it leads to problems in canopy cultivation in later years.

Pollination

Avocado trees are not self-pollination plants in nature and hence require artificial pollination for fruit production. Cross-pollination with another cultivar is important for the best fruit setting. Practicing bee farming near avocado farms can improve pollination in hass avocados.

Posted on

The greatest challenge facing avocado farming

Following the increase in demand for avocado in the local and international market, farmers have been generating a lot of income.  Farmers in different parts of the country are tuning in to avocado farming to reap something from the profitable industry. In the export market, avocados are likely to be the game-changer crop, especially Hass avocados which are highly nutritious. In the recent past, Europe has been the most targeted market for Kenyan Avocados. China giving a nod to the Kenyan avocados in April was a major development that would boost the avocado market. The IX World Avocado trade show was well attended with many different stands and interesting speakers. According to recent reports, it is evident that big markets in Europe and China are showing more interest in the avocados. For instance, avocado exports to China and Europe have increased by more than 1000 times and the projection is still growing. The consumption of hass avocados has risen by 150% in Europe in one decade, which shows that there is a development in the avocado farming industry.

Yield Depends on Quality of Seedlings

Hass Avocado seedlings at Oxfarm.co.ke Nursery In Ridgeways Nairobi

However, most farmers tend to copy what their neighbors are doing and end up getting disappointed when the fruits are mature and ready for sale. The farmers are not aware that the yield of the avocado trees depends on the quality of the seedlings, the variety, and proper farming methods. Despite the Chinese and European market being huge, it might not benefit all the farmers if they are not properly trained. This means that it will only benefit a small number of people. Although the industry is profitable, it still suffers several challenges which might affect the sales of Kenyan hass avocados in the international market.

The majority of avocado growers are small scale farmers with different methods of production and therefore the quality of the Kenyan avocados varies. There is also a lack of confidence in the international markets due to the claims that the packaging of Kenyan avocados is not strong enough. Initially, the international market for Kenyan avocados was dominated by French importers who exploited the Kenyan production to meet the rising demand in the European market and paying 20-30% lower than the other importers. The European Union has well-documented standards for avocados that China has also embraced even after giving Kenyan avocados a nod. For instance, the EU and China outline that the fruits should be clean and free from debris. Furthermore, they should be free from pests and diseases, the stalk should be intact and mature to enable them to ripen uniformly at room temperature. Also, they must undergo inspection and certification from KEPHIS. The greatest challenge that might face Kenyan avocados is the ability to adhere to international standards.  To prevent loses, farmers should ensure that they plant high quality and certified seedlings. They should employ professional farming standards to prevent their avocado trees from being affected by pests such as thrips, and moth insects. They are also susceptible to fungal diseases such as anthracnose, root rot, Cercospora, and scab. Anthracnose, Cercospora and Scab can be controlled using copper-based fungicides. Root rot can be prevented by getting high quality, grafted, and treated seedlings.

Demand Continues to Grow

The consumption of avocados locally and international continues to grow every year. Most hotels have avocados in their menus which means that the demand is quite high. To produce quality fruits, it is the high time farmers employ good agricultural practices to ensure that their fruits make a kill both in the local and international markets. Farmers should get the necessary training to produce something that meets international standards. Quality seedlings that are resistant to diseases can be acquired at oxfarm.co.ke. These seedlings also can withstand harsh weather conditions.

 

Posted on

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??

 

Posted on

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

 

Posted on

Uhuru to Sign Hass Avocado deal In China Next Month

Uhuru to sign hass avocado deal with China

Avocado farming and especially the hass variety has taken shape in Kenya and our leaders have seen the opportunity and have been in the forefront in ensuring Kenyan farmers access better markets.

In this regard, President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to travel to China next month for the first Shanghai Import Expo. In  his visit, president Uhuru is expected to sign a deal for exportation of avocados, mangoes and cashew nuts.

On Thursday as he held Cabinet meeting, president Uhuru briefed his cabinet on his intentions. China is one of the recent countries to embrace hass avocado fruits, and being the most populated country, the demand is rising and if President Uhuru can secure a deal, then brighter days for hass avocado farmers are coming.

The President said he will lead a strong delegation of horticultural farmers and traders to China for the first Shanghai Import Expo. A number of trade deals will be negotiated and sealed, he said.

Among the deals the president is expected to seal is the Sanitary and Phytosanitary deal between Kenya and China. This will open doors for the exportation of more than 40 per cent of Kenya’s fresh produce to the expansive Chinese market.

President Uhuru in his statement said the agreement will also include exportation of stevia – a sweetener grown in the Rift Valley.

What are the best organic methods of controlling pests in Kenya?

Signing Of Hass Avocado and Other fruits Deal

During the Shanghai visit, the Head of State is also expected to sign an MoU for the establishment of a trade negotiation working group. It will be mandated to negotiate trade tariffs especially on Kenya’s tea and coffee exports to China.

On Tuesday 17th October, Uhuru banned Chinese fish, saying it is killing the local market. He spoke at the Strathmore University during the 2018 SMEs conference. “I have been told about the imported fish from China. It is not possible that we import Chinese fish when our local traders are here,” he said.

Uhuru attended the China-Africa Forum for Cooperation (FOCAC) 2018 Summit in August. He held bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping focusing on trade, infrastructure, investments, education and technology. The President witnessed the signing of an Economic and Investment Cooperation Agreement between China and Kenya. Uhuru’s delegation engaged in discussions on financing for Phase 2B of the Standard Gauge Railway from Naivasha to Kisumu.

The discussions also covered the financing for the Western Bypass in Nairobi. The talks also centred on Kenya’s shift from pure debt financing to embrace Private Public Partnerships.

China has remained the biggest lender to Kenyan economy with some quarters saying the loans might plunge the country into a debt trap. (courtesy of Star)

This is the biggest opportunity we have as a nation. Hass avocado farmers have a chance now to get the best prices for their fruits. Last year, Kakuzi Ltd an agricultural company bought hass avocado fruits from farmers at a record high of up to Ksh 35 per fruit. This year we expect the prices to go higher.

Contact us for quality certified seedlings.

Posted on

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.

 

Posted on

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.

Mkulima Wa Nyeri: “Future Billionaires will be Farmers”

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).

what you should do to stop your chickens from fighting and pecking

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.

 

Posted on

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

 

Posted on

Kenya Becomes an Avocado Powerhouse in Africa Overtaking South Africa

Avocado sales to China are expected to be more than double this year as demand continues to grow for the fruit from the country’s expanding middle-class population. It appears to just double every year. And, the pace of growth shows no sign of slowing as more health-conscious consumers in the world’s most populous nation show an interest in the “heart-healthy” avocados, executives say. The fruit also appeals to “young, trendy people,” said Barnard.

One big beneficiary of the growing demand is Kenya, the greatest avocado producer in Africa. The Chinese market has been growing at a very fast pace. Avocado has evolved into a trending ingredient worldwide and has particular resonance in China and Russia— where it’s commonly known as butter fruit — due to its somewhat exotic positioning.

Reasons Why You Should Start an Agribusiness in Kenya Today

Most of the demand in China is from urban consumers in the largest cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. Chinese millennials who have traveled overseas also are helping to grow the market. Demand for avocados also is strong in Japan and other parts of Europe such as Netherlands.

Russia and Italy are key destinations of the green skins in Europe. Italy is yet to make a mark in the Kenya avocado scene as Russia has done. This is why the bulk of local Fuerte goes to Asian destinations.

Italy and Russia are among the key buyers of Avocado in Europe. However, Italy is yet to position itself in the Kenya avocado scene compared to Russia. This is more of a reason why most of our fuerte goes to Asian countries.

According to Selina Wamucii, a company that sources fresh produce from farmers, Kenya Avocados’ impressive volumetric growth rate per year and access to new markets has helped the country to overtake South Africa as the number one exporter of avocados from Africa.  According to Trade statistics from International Trade Centre (ITC), the East African country became the 11th largest exporter avocados in the world in 2017, exporting a record volume of 51, 507 tons to the world. South Africa, traditionally the lead exporter of avocados from the continent, relinquished the position and trailed Kenya for the first time in five years with 43, 492 tons.

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

Statistically, as the top performer in the Africa avocado exporting industry, Kenya holds 1.3% of the total world volume. South Africa follows by 1.1 percent, a depreciation from the 2016 peak of 1.6% when it was Africa’s export champion. Even though these two countries’ figures are a far cry from the 48.4 percent market share of Mexico, they are nonetheless impressive for each country. While Kenya boasts new markets like the Russian Federation and South-east Asia, South Africa has over 90% of its exports going to European Union countries, (ITC 2018).

Why farmers should plant more Avocado

There is no other perfect time to invest in avocado like this time. Kenya has not only attracted avocado export to South Africa, but has also overtaken S.A in terms of export to become number one in the continent.

We are in a very strong position to sustain avocado export dominance in Africa. With players such as Oxfarm, Kakuzi Ltd, Selina Wamucii and the likes who source avocado from farmers,  will surprise the world. The Kenya’s small-scale farmers are the backbone of this country and with right information and management, our future is secure.