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Kericho farmers bet on avocado to grow income

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PHOTO | KNA

The agriculture ministry has issued 5,000 grafted Hass avocado seedlings to small holder farmers in Kericho County in a bid to improve their livelihoods.

While presiding over the exercise at Chepsir in Kipkelion East Constituency where 500 farmers small scale farmers were the beneficiaries, Agriculture Principal Secretary Dr Paul Rono said this is part of the plans by the government to boost income among farmers.

“Avocado farming requires less time and manpower and with the improved variety a farmer will earn increased yield as they have a shorter maturity period and an extended fruiting season thus increasing the potential for higher profits,” said PS Rono.

He urged the farmers to zealously embrace avocado farming since the demand in the international market is extremely high while revealing that small scale farmers venturing into the local markets were reaping benefits from this alternative source of income that was boosting their livelihoods.

“This is the next gold for Kenya and those farmers growing avocadoes testify the returns they earn from the fruit is much better than returns from tea. An avocado farmer growing one avocado tree makes Ksh 25,000 so if a farmer planted five avocado trees he will make Ksh 125,000,” noted PS Rono.

Each of the small scale farmers received 10 seedlings of the grafted Hass variety of avocado from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Development

In an interview with KNA a farmer Richard Cheruiyot said he was happy to benefit from the grafted Hass avocado variety adding that this will help him boost his yield with the 200 avocado trees that he planted two years back.

Kenya is the leading avocado exporter in Africa and is ranked as the fifth largest exporter in the world with Mexico being the top producer globally.

KNA
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