To improve their annual income per acre, farmers in Uasin Gishu County should switch to Avocado farming. Revenues generated through avocado farming have been increasing as more farmers embrace the green gold from Peru.
A report from the Business Daily states that North Rift avocado farmers earned Ksh 100 million last year (2021) from avocado farming.
This clearly shows how avocado farming is displacing other crops to become the king of cash crops in the north rift.
Demand for avocado fruits
The demand for avocado fruits is high and no one should discourage and confuse you. Go ahead and plant as many trees as you can. This will secure your financial future as other people gamble.
The report further affirms how our weather favors the crop. Ernest Muthomi, the Avocado Society of Kenya CEO, says that there is usually an avocado shortage in Central Kenya, between February and March. This shortage is usually filled by farmers in the North Rift.
Avocado production stands at 84,000 metric tonnes annually and is valued at Ksh 15 billion. The current buying price for avocados ranges between Ksh 70 – Ksh 100 per kilo.
Kenya has risen fast to overtake South Africa and become the leading avocado exporter in Africa.
There is good uptake of the crop, with an estimated 10,000 hectares under cultivation and 2,000 hectares of the matured crop currently in Uasin Gishu County, said Mr. Muthomi. He lauded the State for supporting farmers to get new markets such as China, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates.
It all boils down to growing many trees on your farm if you want to capitalize on profit. The more avocados you have, the more money you will get.
An avocado orchard usually has a spacing of 7m x 7m to cater to the tree expansion as it grows. You can grow them at a spacing of 5m x 5m if your farm is small. You must prune and fertilize them more frequently to ensure average growth. Most small-scale avocado farmers in Kenya are growing using the 5m x 5m plan.
Another thing you need to note is your soil. Get it tested in a lab before growing your avocado trees. You need deep soils full of organic matter for a successful orchard. You need to make adjustments in your soil if they have a lot of marrams.
Do this by digging a more giant hole of 3ft x 3ft and filling it up with fresh soil dug from somewhere else. Mix the soil with well-decomposed manure and TSP fertilizer. The earth should be raised up on the hole like a molehill. The avocado seedling should then be planted on top of the raised ground. This is because avocados don’t like water that stagnates on their roots.
Avocados also require a lot of water to grow well. This means they will grow well in regions that receive frequent rainfall. Invest in a reliable irrigation system if your farm is located in an arid area.