Kenya’s Avocados: Kenya exported avocados valued at Ksh. 4.26 billion in the first quarter of the year 2021 compared to the same period last year. This is according to data obtained from Horticulture Directorate by ShopaXo.
Buoyed by improved demand, in the global markets, this represented a 93% jump in the exports. The country produces 26,481 tonnes of avocadoes between January and March this year compared to 15,101 tonnes produced during the same period last year.
The jump is attributed to the resumption of export of the popular Fuerte variety on February 15 followed by Hass on March 8 after close to a four-month ban. The Directorate of Horticulture had imposed the ban after the theft of the immature fruit last year.
In what seemed to be a coordinated scheme, cartels stole the fruit and sold it to the international market where the demand for avocadoes continues to remain high. As a result, the Directorate of Horticulture banned the two varieties for export.
Usually, the season of these varieties usually comes to an end at that time pushing in the shortage of the commodity the result being high demand not only in the local market but also globally.
Most of Kenya’s Avocadoes are sold to Europe, Middle East, and Asia as few get into the Chinese market.
The good money farmers are making on avocadoes has seen farmers abandon crops like coffee, tea, and miraa to cultivate them amid rising demand for the commodity in the international market.
Most of Kenya’s avocadoes are cultivated in the Central, Rift Valley, and Western regions of the country. The Horticulture Directorate Noted, “There has been an increase in area under cultivation and a shift from the traditional avocado growing zones to the Rift Valley and parts of western Kenya.
Kenya’s avocado exports jumped 15 percent to 68,000 metric tonnes in the last year to October 2020, fetching the country Ksh.14 billion and becoming a foreign currency earner.
Kenya is the 8th largest producer in the world. Other large producers are Brazil, Peru, Indonesia, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. Mexico is the world’s largest producer.
Kenya leads Africa in Avocado production, while South Africa and Malawi come in second and third respectively.