Avocado farming in Kenya comprehensive guide

This is the avocado farming in Kenya comprehensive guide with all the details you need to know in starting and growing your avocado farm in Kenya. First and foremost before we step in to the details there are some quick facts you should know about avocado farming in Kenya

  • Kenya’s climate is so fantastic and very suitable for growing avocados
  • Avocado farming is a long-term project, with initial high costs at planting, followed by a 3-5 year wait for the trees to come into production.  To reap healthy rewards, it is essential to do a full risk assessment
  • In Kenya alone, avocado production ranges from 26-27 tons per hectare
  • Avocados can grow anywhere in Kenya Avocados suffer more when there is no water and also suffer most when there’s too much water. You need to create a proper drainage when there is too much water
  • Farmers should not sell their produce individually especially when exploring the export market. This lacks the selling power hence little revenue being generated.
  • Farmers need to sell as groups, consolidating their produce as a group. This enables them to have enough quantity, quality and thus maximizing the profits.
  • The avocado export market in Kenya is dominated by Kakuzi Vegpro, Sunripe Kenya, Horticultural Exporters, and East African Growers.
  • The poor quality of Kenyan avocados is mainly due to the inadequate knowledge of modern production practices on the part of small-scale producers, who have traditionally grown their trees for domestic markets or for noncommercial purposes

In this avocado farming in Kenya comprehensive guide we intend to answer all your questions regarding avocado farming. Some of the questions frequently asked include:

  • How long does it take for a Hass avocado tree to bear fruit in Kenya?
  • How much is a kilo of avocado in Kenya?
  • How many avocados can you plant per acre?
  • How long does it take for a Hass avocado tree to bear fruit?
  • How much does a Hass avocado tree cost?
  • How to grow avocados in Kenya
  • Avocado varieties in Kenya

HOW TO GROW AVOCADOS

Avocado is a high protein and oil rich fruit native to America but grown in Kenya. It is usually grown for domestic purposes but mainly due to its demand it has become a commercial crop grown in Kenya. Avocados grows in almost every part in Kenya but we can take a snippet into the ecological conditions.

Avocados depending on its variety does well in areas of 0-2500 m above sea level, requires deep soil with good water holding capacity and good draining, moderate temperature and well distributed rainfall of 1600mm also dry and rainy conditions are perfectly suitable for avocados.

PLANTING

Planting of avocados is done by using their seedlings which should be chosen carefully. Grafted avocado seedlings are the best. The land or area to be planted should be well harrowed and free from weeds.

On the land where avocado seedlings are to be planted prepare holes of 60*, 60*, 60* cm, for the pure stand the standard spacing is 9m by 9m

Keep in mind that the general spacing for individual avocado plant should be 6m by 7m to 8m by 10m for ultimate production

Avocado holes should be well fed with farmyard, manure and DAP fertilizer. Mixed properly with the top soil. After mixing the fertilizer with soil ensure the soil is moist then you can now plant the seedlings on the holes. Cover the seedlings with soil up to the level they were at the nursery. Ensure bud union to be 300mm above the ground. If it’s not in the rainy season water the seedlings immediately after planting

FARM PRACTICES FOR AVOCADOES

Normal farm practices is applied and continues for the period of growth to maturity of avocado plantation the practices include;

1. Irrigation– Water is vital in several stages of tree development and the fruiting cycle. Use 5 to 20 liters of water frequently depending on the size of the seedling

2. Fertilization– Apply 1 wheelbarrow of well decomposed manure twice a year i.e. during the onset of long and short rains. Also, Top-dress with 120g of CAN. Lack of minerals will be seen in the leaves.

3. Pruning– Prune at early stages before flowering and upon completion of harvesting. This will encourage lateral growth and multiple framework branching. Ensure the tree canopy height is always maintained at 70% of its row width. This will allow light to penetrate, improve yield and provides a superior tree structure

4. Thinning– This involves 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.

5. Weeding– Weed to reduce competition for nutrients and water.

AVOCADO HARVESTING

Avocados in Kenya matures at the period of 7 to 10 months after flowering this varies according to variety and ecological conditions of the area. To determine maturity of the avocados is pot difficult  example the dark colored avocado variety mature when they start to turn from green to dark color, while green-colored varieties become smoother, may develop corky spots, and a yellow tint to skin and stem. Clippers are always used for harvesting and it is important to note that avocados do not ripen while on trees.

During harvesting avoid picking immature fruits as they will not ripen up. Avocados usually ripen at 3 to 4 weeks after picking depending on its variety.

Avocados should be handled with care as they are easily bruised. Storage should be done on crates or double layered boxes ready for shipment or marketing

AVOCADO MARKETTING IN KENYA
Kenya ranked 8th globally (2.1% of market share) in 2019 in export of avocados shipping out 59,000 tons with annual value of Kshs 10.6 Billion, behind Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Spain, Chile, Colombia and the United States. Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing avocados exporters since 2015 were: Colombia (up 1,607%), Dominican Republic (up 424.2%), Morocco (up 206.6%) and Kenya (up 161.5%). In 2020, up to end of October Kenya has exported 68,000 tons valued at Kshs. 14 Billion. Recently in April 2021 a report was released showing a whopping 4.6billion earnings by Kenya through avocados in only 3 months so, what are you waiting for?

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON AVOCADO FARMING IN KENYA

  • How many avocados can you plant per acre?

With the standard spacing for grafted hass avocado in Kenya which is 5 by 5 meters. With this spacing, 150 avocado trees can be planted in an acre

  • How long does it take for a Hass avocado tree to bear fruit?

Avocados in Kenya matures at the period of 7 to 10 months after flowering this is at 3 to 4 years after planting and also varies according to variety and ecological conditions of the area.

  • How much does a Hass avocado tree cost?

A grafted avocado seedling in Kenya costs around 150 to 200kshs per seedling

AVOCADO PESTS AND DISEASES INCLUDE

PESTS

Fruit flies, false coddling moths, thrips, scales and spider mites, bugs, stink bugs, swarming leaf beetles

DISEASES

Avocado root rot, anthracnose, scab, bacterial soft rot

AVOCADO VARIETIES IN KENYA

Common varieties grown in Kenya

HASS AVOCADOS

Hass: It is one of the popular varieties grown in Kenya. It is characterized by dark purple color when ripe and has a good shelf life. Has moderate spreading habit. Recommended spacing: 7M by 8M. Matures 8-9 months after flowering.

FUERTE VOCADOS

It is characterized by green and thin slightly rough skin even when ripe. Has a wide spreading habit. Recommended spacing: 8M by 10M Matures 6-8 months after flowering.

PUEBLA AVOCADOS

 Used as rootstock by many farmers as it has no fibre and is resistant to diseases. The flesh is green, juicy and of good flavor. It is a rapid grower, erect with drooping branches. Matures 5-7 months after flowering.

NABAL AVOCADOS

The fruit has green/yellowish flesh. The tree is always upright, bears heavily but has a tendency of alternate bearing. Recommended spacing: 8M by 8M. Matures 8-9 months after flowering.

PINKERTON

 The fruits are long pear shaped with dark/pale green skin color. The tree has moderate spreading habits, bears heavily & regularly recommended spacing: 6M by 6M.

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6 thoughts on “Avocado farming in Kenya comprehensive guide

    1. Am in kakamega county and i want to start hass ovacado farming. I have an acreof a piece land to star with iin tje month of November. Pliz advice before i start. Will i get amarkert for my fruits?

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