Demand for avocados gains traction globally

Demand for dry and processed avocados has gained traction globally.

Local farmers have now been urged to embrace value addition along the avocado value chain to boost earnings.

Export Processing Council CEO Peter Kibet Biwott says avocado presents an opportunity to increase export income after export of the produce earned Kenya Ksh 78 billion in the last 24 months.

As the debate rages on over the economic viability especially among small scale avocado farmers over the China-Kenya export deal; statistics indicate that demand for the fruit is gaining traction globally.

According to Biwott, cutting down on the export of raw avocados in favour of peeled, dried and processed avocado could exponentially boost revenue earnings.

Kenya is the largest avocado exporter in Africa and is ranked 8th in the world. In efforts geared towards boosting production, farmers will undergo best practice training as well as receive subsidized seedlings.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri urged farmers to practice liming to correct soil acidity that is still an impediment to crop output.

It emerged that farmers keen to export avocados to China are required to install machines for peeling ripe fruit and coolers for freezing before it is exported.

However, government officials have since said they are in talks with China to relax the stringent requirement that might lock out most small scale farmers from benefiting from the deal.

  

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