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.
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.
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