This article focuses on Hass avocado farming in Kenya. Hass avocado farming is a very profitable agribusiness venture. The avocados are mainly grown for export. They fetch good prices in the international market, especially in Europe.
Hass Avocado Growing Areas In Kenya
Hass avocados are mainly grown in the Central Region, Eastern, Central Rift Valley, Lower Nyanza and parts of Western. They do well in areas such as;
- Well distributed rainfall of 1000-2000mm.
- Optimum temperature of 20-24°c.
- Well drained sandy/ alluvial loam soils.
- Soil pH of 5.5 to 6.5.
Hass avocado can be grown from seeds or seedlings. Planting should be done at the onset of rain. Prepare planting holes which should be 60cm by 70cm.
Separate topsoil and sub-soil then mix the topsoil with organic farmyard manure (about 20kg) and about 250g of double superphosphate.
Once you have applied the manure, you can insert the seeds or seedlings in the planting holes and then properly cover the hole with soil. It is advisable to water the plants right after planting to provide enough moisture.
The trees or plants will start bearing fruits after 3-4 years of planting. Averagely, a tree can produce 70-100 kgs of fruits.
Pruning should be done before the flowering stage. It can also be done after harvesting. It plays a role in improving yields and tree structure.
Thinning is mainly done for the purpose of production of quality fruits and to do away with competition that may exist for nutrients. It involves removing some of the fruits that have already been formed.
Proper weed control measures need to be practised. Weeding helps in minimising competition for important nutrients and water.
Pests and Diseases
Common pests that attack Hass avocadoes include thrips, scale insects and false codling moths. They can be controlled by practising proper field hygiene.
Common diseases include Cercospora fruit spot, scab, anthracnose and root rot. The diseases can be controlled by using chemical sprays such as mancozeb and copper-based fungicides.
Hass avocado trees start bearing fruits after 3-4 years. A tree can produce about 70-100 kgs of fruits yearly.
The Market for Hass Avocado in Kenya
The market for Hass avocadoes is wide. They can be sold locally in open-air markets, groceries, supermarkets and many other places. A single fruit is locally sold between Kshs 10-50 depending on the size.
There is also a huge market internationally. You can grow the avocados and sell them to export companies such as Kakuzi, Sunripe, Vegpro and East Africa Growers.