Legislator Urges Farmers to Take Advantage of Avocado International Markets
Machakos Women Representative Joyce Kamene Kasimbi has urged farmers to take advantage of the high demand of Hass avocados in the international market.
Speaking in Mutituni area in the outskirts of Machakos town when distributing avocado seedlings to several Community based Organizations (CBO) in Mutituni and Ngelani areas, Ms. Kasimbi said that the farmers would reap greatly from the high-quality avocado seedlings.
“Avocados have proven to be a lucrative venture with farmers who embraced the idea earlier already reaping and raking in huge profits. We therefore urge more farmers to come on board,” said Kamene.
She noted that avocados are friendly to the environment as compared to eucalyptus trees that are known to deplete the environment especially water catchment areas.
“In addition to reaping huge harvests and profits, the avocado tree farming will also help improve the environment greatly,” said Kamene.
Late last year, the Woman rep distributed macadamia seedlings and women Empowerment Funds totaling to thousands of shillings in Kangundo East, Matungulu East and Upper Kaewa wards.
Kangundo East ward CBO received Sh 550,000; Kamwaki Matungulu East CBO received Sh 400,000 and Kakoi of Upper Kaewa ward CBO received Sh 400,000.
Mekitumi CBO of Kithimani ward received Sh 300,000 while Ikokikya CBO of ikombe ward received Sh 300,000.
Ms. Kasimbi also distributed seeds and Women Economic empowerment cheques at Kithimani and Ikombe wards.
In October last year, Kamene officially launched and disbursed Women’s Economic funds worth Sh. 16,305,000 during an event held at the Machakos girls’ grounds
She also launched Cash transfer for vulnerable and Small and Medium Enterprises worth Sh5, 600,000, bursary, and scholarships amounting to Sh. 3,777,509 adding that the projects will be carried out in all the eight sub-counties.
According to Oxfam Organic, Hass Avocado is the new goldmine for modern farmers in Kenya with most county governments insisting on Hass-Avocado farming since it does not require much labor and time to maintain.
In addition, demand for avocado is extremely high and farmers just cannot satisfy the current local demand and that in the European countries with Hass-avocado exporters now selling the fruit for as high as Sh 30 each.
Last year, farmers in Murang’a county earned Sh500 million from Hass-avocados according to Governor Mwangi Wa-Iria, with Hass avocado investment being bigger than coffee.
Research shows that, one properly watered tree of Hass avocado can give a famer 1,000 fruits a year, which comes to Sh 8, 000.
Counties in central Kenya, Eastern, Central rift valley, Lower Nyanza and all western Kenya counties have the best climatic conditions for Hass-Avocado cultivation.
In Eastern Kenya, avocados do well in certain pockets such as Kangundo, Mua Hills, Kathiani (Iveti hills), parts of Mbooni, all in Machakos County, and the high potential areas of the larger Embu and Meru counties.
In Kenya, avocado is one of the most consumed fruits that is readily available in the market all year round.
Going by the latest Horticulture Crops Development Authority (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 marketplace from between Kshs10 to Sh 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