Kenya’s growing avocado industry is aiming to double its avocado exports from Sh15 billion to Sh30 billion annually in the next five years due to increasing demand for the country’s produce in the global market. Ernest Muthomi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Avocado Society of Kenya (ASK), said that Kenya is expanding its target markets globally, especially after achieving its China market in June last year. The initial shipments to China took place in July and August, and the country’s exports of avocado to China hit Sh7 billion in the three months to October 2022, exceeding the earnings that were realized in the first seven months of the year.

Kenya’s Avocado Varieties

Although Kenya’s Hass avocado is the common fruit that is exported, the country is also producing other varieties such as Fuerte and Jumbo.

The Importance of Avocado to Kenyan Farmers

According to the country’s Horticulture Directorate, many countries, including Korea and Italy, have been seeking to have Kenya’s avocados exported to their nations because of the high-fat content that the local fruits have. Commonly referred to as ‘Green Gold’, the CEO urged farmers to increase investment in the production of the fruit. However, some unscrupulous traders have been buying raw avocados from farmers and packing them for export, tarnishing the country’s name as far as the production of this product is concerned.

ASK: Helping Farmers Boost Production of Avocado and Tapping into the Global Market

The Avocado Society of Kenya (ASK) helps farmers to boost production of avocado and offers guidance on how to tap into the global market. Currently, avocados stand second as key contributors to foreign earnings, coming after flowers in the horticulture sector.

Global Avocado Production and Kenyan Industry

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), global avocado production as at 2014-2015 was at 4.7 million tonnes, and between 2015 and 2016, it rose to 5.8 million tonnes. FAO data indicates that global production has increased by 4.6% and that the avocado market in China is booming, while demand from the American market is also increasing at a consistent but fast rate. Kenya is the seventh-largest producer of avocado in the world, and in 2020, the country surpassed South Africa and other African countries in avocado exports.

Kenya is Rising!

In conclusion, Kenya’s avocado industry is experiencing a significant growth trajectory, driven by increasing global demand for the country’s produce. With the target of doubling exports from Sh15 billion to Sh30 billion annually in the next five years, the avocado industry is poised to make a significant contribution to Kenya’s economy. The Avocado Society of Kenya (ASK) plays an important role in helping farmers boost production and tap into the global market, while also urging them to invest in the production of the fruit. Although the industry has faced challenges from unscrupulous traders exporting unripe avocados, the country’s high-quality produce and expanding global markets offer tremendous opportunities for growth in the sector.

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