This article will enlighten you on how to make money by focusing on Avocado Farming in Kenya.
Avocado growth has taken up in Kenya, thanks to inexpensive maintenance and a ready market both locally and internationally.
In comparison to other prominent Avocado-growing countries such as Mexico and other South American countries, Kenya’s geographical location makes it easy to sell to Europe, Asia, and China.
It’s a good long-term investment because of its ease of entry, upkeep, capacity to be intercropped with other short-term crops, and the prospect of harvesting for several years.
The avocado marketplace.
Kenya produces an estimated 115,000 metric tons of avocado per year, with small-scale producers accounting for 70% of the crop. Avocado exports have replaced main cash crops in Hass, with a ready international market for locals.
According to the International Trade Center, Kenya exports roughly 52,000 tons of avocados to the international market, making it Africa’s second-largest exporter.
Avocado Varieties Grown in Kenya
Hass, Fuerte, and Puebla are the most common cultivars grown in Kenya.
Avocado is a must.
For the export market, the Hass avocado is the most preferred kind. The trees in this breed are semi-spreading, and a single tree can produce up to 60 fruits on average. When the skin turns dark, it’s ripe, and the inside is light green, it’s ready to eat.
Avocadoes del Fuerte.
The avocado from Fuerte is pear-shaped and has thin, glossy skin. It’s green, with a rough and loose surface that makes peeling and eating a breeze. It takes 6-8 months to develop and can be used to make guacamole. For the home market, Fuerte is preferred.
Avocado from Puebla.
Puebla has a dark green color. It is typically used as a rootstock and matures 5-7 months after flowering.
Avocado’s growing requirements in terms of the environment.
Although avocados are drought-hardy, they require 1000-1200mm of evenly distributed rainfall. With a two-month dry season for pre-flowering, this is ample for crop development. Avocados, for the most part, require irrigation. Each week, your plants will need roughly 25 mm of water. It would be beneficial if your plants could grow at a temperature of around 20-24 degrees Celsius.
To avoid root rot, you’ll also need well-drained soils. Alluvial, sandy, or loam soils with pH levels ranging from 5-7 are the best. The climate in Kenya is sunny, the soils are dry and well-drained, and avocado trees thrive there.
Avocado Yield Per Acre
In Kenya, the average yield is 87,000 fruits per acre. Avocado trees that are three to four years old produce 300-400 kilograms of fruit per acre, whereas trees that are more than five years old produce 800-1000 kilograms of fruit per acre (80,000-100,000 fruits per acre).
Read also:French Beans Farming in Kenya
Avocado-growing land preparation.
If you’re planting avocados on newly cleared ground in Kenya, you should plant an annual crop first. It will assist in the correct cultivation of cleared land. To get rid of the weeds, you’ll need a non-selective herbicide.
Planting holes are normally 60cm by 60cm by 60cm in size. Avocado stands should be spaced 9m by 9m in general.
Avocado nursery preparation.
Once you’ve opted to plant the avocado, you’ll need a chilly nighttime temperature of 15 degrees Celsius and a daytime temperature of 25 to 30 degrees Celsius. This method works well for young avocado plants since it delays plant crowding, results in stronger plants, and lowers night heating expenses. For faster seedling development, some nurseries prefer a higher temperature.
Avocado seeds can be germinated in sawdust or sand, with careful attention to moisture levels.
It’s recommended to put the seeds in 2.5 by 10 cm plastic liners or seed bags with perforated bases for drainage.
Avocado seedlings being transplanted
You can transfer seedlings that exhibit healthy shoot and root development into a suitable soil mixture if you observe them. Remove the dirt from the plastic liner and lay it in the center of the hole that has already been dug, then cover firmly with a mixture of topsoil and farmyard manure.
Transplanting is more successful when done during extended rainstorms, either early in the morning or late in the evening. The plant must be planted at the same depth it was in the nursery. You’ll also need to water it right after you plant it.
Avocado diseases are a type of disease that affects avocados.
Avocados grown in Kenya may be infected by fungus. They are as follows:
Root rot in avocados.
Avocados should not be grown in regions where the soil is poorly drained or where flooding is a risk. Infected trees’ leaves will become tiny, light or yellow-green in color, wilted, and fall prematurely. The roots turn dark, deteriorate, and eventually die. To combat this illness, you should apply Ridomil, which contains the active ingredient Metalayl, as a granular chemical formulation to the soil.
When your fruit reaches maturity, this is a big post-harvest issue. It attacks the fruit, causing it to become dry and dark brown. Sunken spots on the fruit may appear, and the spots may emerge as rot that can penetrate deep into the flesh. Copper-based fungicides can be used to control the problem.
Young, succulent tissues of leaves, twigs, and fruits are easily infected by the fungus. Lesions will look like little dark dots that are slightly elevated and oval to elongate. Fruits are only vulnerable when they are young until they have grown to nearly half their full size. Anthracnose can be controlled using similar approaches.
Leaf and fruit spot on Cercospora
This illness hurts fruit quality. Lesions start as little light-yellow spots on fruits and leaves, then turn reddish-brown, harden, and break as the infection progresses. This disease can also be managed in the same way that Anthracnose is.
Pests have a little negative impact on avocado output in Kenya. Pest and disease prevention is the most successful and cost-effective technique of pest and disease control for your avocado plant. Weed management, correct material selection, fertilizer application, and maintaining optimum plant density are all preventive actions you may take.
Fruit flies, fake coddling moths, scales, swarming leaf beetles, bugs, and spider mites are just a few of the significant pests that may attack your avocados.
Weeds frequently compete for nutrients and water to grow. They also serve as a breeding ground for pests and diseases. Cover cropping, mechanical cultivation, and mulching are some of the strategies you might employ to reduce weeds in your avocado plantation. Non-selective herbicides can also be used to control all forms of weeds in the garden.
Avocadoes are intercropped.
During the first three to five years after planting your avocado trees in Kenya, you can intercrop with other crops like peas, kales, beans, or cabbage before the trees start producing fruits.
Avocado harvesting and post-harvesting
After 5-10 months of flowering, your avocados are ready to pick. Kenya Hass Avocados bloom in October and are ready to harvest between June and September. The blossoming period varies depending on the variety and the region’s ecological conditions. You’ll need to figure out when the best time to harvest is. Avocados are harvested raw and ripen on the tree, thus this is crucial.
Yield the fruits and preserve them in good conditions to ripen if you want a good harvest.