Back in August Kenya flagged its first avocado shipment to China, marking its dominance in the African avocado market. Kenya is currently the leading avocado producer in Africa and sits at position 6 in the global landscape.
Exporting avocados to China is a big deal for many farmers in Kenya who have slowly been switching to avocado farming. No one wants to be left in a situation of no avocado market access and this is a win for Kenya.
The market access to China will bring more money to avocado farmers in Kenya which in turn will improve their livelihood and local development.
There is however a brewing concern that is emerging in areas with established avocados. The issue of theft. This issue has started to emerge from central Kenya and I believe it if we do not tackle it head-on, it will escalate as the years go by.
In Mexico, the world’s largest avocado exporter, the cases of theft are rampant. Armed cartels are invading farms, forcing farmers to part with their hard-earned money. This has forced most farms to hire armed security guards to patrol their farms for safety.
We need to be more conscious of our operations and come up with security mechanisms that will thwart the rise of avocado cartels in our country.
You can prevent theft on your avocado farm in Kenya by implementing the following;
- Watchmen – You could try hiring watchmen who are dedicated to protecting your avocado orchard. Consider the size of your farm and calculate how many people you will need. The watchmen should then patrol your farm on a regular basis to inspect fences and also deter anyone trying to snoop around.
- Install an electric fence that has automatic sensors These sensors will be able to detect if there are any cuts along the fence and alert you plus the security forces immediately.
- Walkie-Talkies – Invest in radio calls or walkie-talkies to help in communication. Your watchmen will use them across your orchard for ease of talking.
- CCTV System– This will enable you to monitor the status of your orchard in real-time while also recording events to your server when you are not around. If a theft occurs, you can identify how it occurred by reviewing footage.
- Avoid Farm Visitors – Many people will try to access your farm under the pretense of learning about your venture. They could use this tactic to gather information about your farm and plan for theft. Be cautious of who enters your farm because this is where you make your money. They can make quick mathematics from your orchard.
- Neighbourhood Watch– Rally up your neighbors and like-minded individuals to create an avocado security team in your area. They will then liaise with village elders and local chiefs to try and identify any suspicious avocado shipments and movements. Normally, when a cow or goat is stolen it’s usually easy to track because guys are alert locally. The neighbors can identify if they see livestock being moved. But avocados are new and when someone steals them, it’s easy for them to go unnoticed. When the neighbors are made aware and also educated on growing avocados on their own, they will be aware and ready to act incase of any suspicious activity.
- Drones– Drones are easy to use and come equipped with cameras to record footage. They can be flown over the farm to provide a birds-eye view of what is going on at the farm. They can also scare away potential thieves when it is spotted in the sky. This will create an air of uncertainty about stealing because of the randomness of drone flights.
Preventing theft in an avocado plantation is possible thanks to the various technological solutions available today.
We hope that this article has helped you with ideas on how to prevent avocado theft on your farm.