Ministry of Agriculture initiative to boost avocado farming in Embu County
BY Herman Joseph
I am writing this article to answer a question that I was asked by one of my readers on Facebook Mr. Kamau.The question is listed below and I hope it helps more farmers and investors that are interested in the agribusiness space.
What kind of project is NALEP undertaking with avocado farmers in Embu County?
Let’s get to it immediately to figure out the meaningful and all important work being done by the government. I would like to inform you that after reading this you should consider this market space.
The ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with their counter parts from KEPHIS (Kenya Plant Inspectorate Service) launched avocado farming in December in Runyenjes as part of an effort to empower farmers in the region.
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You will be glad to learn that the avocado harvest will be for export to the international market. The country’s dried avocado market has been on the upward trend with farmers exporting 46.7 tons in the year 2016.Compared to the previous year, this was an increase of over 7.8 tons to the international market.
Kenya ranks third globally in the international export market behind Peru and the rainbow nation, South Africa.
In the year 2015 Kenya earned 5.2 billion shillings in avocado sales an increase of over 1 billion to 6.5 billion shillings in the year 2016.
Most of the country’s avocado production comes from small scale farmers spread across the country in the regions of Kisii, Muranga, Nyeri,Kiambu and Meru. The total avocado cover is about 7500ha with over 65% done in small scale.
‘The seasonality of Kenyan production allows it to participate in this markets at a time when many of the world’s largest exporters Mexico, Chile, Israel and the united States, are less active on the international market” Said Dr. Irungu, Director at the state Department of crops.
The avocado project will ensure farmers who are selling their products locally can earn more by tapping into the international market.
Farmers are encourages to grow the Hass variety of avocado since it’s on high demand in the European Union common market. It contributes up to70% of the market that is shared with fuerte, green skin avocados, and the pinker ton taking the remaining 30%. source Export Promotion Council.
The Hass variety requires annual rainfall of over 1000mm to about 1900mm.Embu County experiences two rainy seasons in the months of March-June and October-December with an annual rainfall of over 1000mm.
I wish to inform you the export market of avocado is lucrative as the prices are up to three times the local price in Embu and within Kenya. It is also an opportunity for you to earn more locally and not rely on the traditional cash crops of Tea and coffee.
You can obtain the avocado seedlings through +254721286289/+254720614591
Thank you for your question I hope my answer answers your concern feel free to leave a comment and ask more questions.
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