FACTS ABOUT HASS AVOCADO FARMING IN KENYA

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Hass Avocados are grown in Nyeri, Kiambu, Meru and Kisii regions. The entire Mount Kenya region can facilitate Avocado growth because of its climatic conditions. Hass Avocado can be distinguished by its large round seed and purplish brown color when ripe. Other varieties are usually green in color, even when ripe. Hass also has a buttery and creamy texture with a sweet taste.

 There are specific reasons why the Hass variety is considered king of all avocados in the world. These are;

  • It is preferred for its culinary uses.
  • It has more fat than other varieties making it smoother and creamier.
  • Hass Avocados have longer shelf life making it easier to ship for long distances.
  • Has good cooking qualities.

 BENEFITS OF HASS AVOCADO FARMING IN KENYA

One of the main benefits of Hass avocado farming to farmers is its lucrative returns in the export market. It has a big demand in countries such as the united Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Egypt. It is estimated that in 2023, the largest importers of Hass Avocados in Europe will be Kenyan farmers.

The wholesale prices of Hass fruits are also lucrative because the prices retail at 10-17 per fruit when compared to the fuerte variety, which is bought at 3-5 shillings per fruit. Various government bodies including KEPHIS, regulate fruit quality.

Another advantage of planting this variety is that it requires little space with the recommended spacing of 5 by 5 meters. This is a small space compared to other varieties which require a spacing of 8 by 8 meters, like the Nabal seed variety. Therefore Hass can be planted by small scale farmers.

Hass Avocado Ecology

It would be best to plant Hass Avocados in regions with an altitude of 1000-2000m. Rainfall should be evenly distributed throughout the year, with a minimum rainfall of 1,000mm – 1600mm. Hass Avocados should be irrigated during the dry season for optimal yields. Farmers should plant this avocado variety in well-drained soil with a pH of 5 – 7.

Regions where Has avocados Do well include:

  • Meru
  • Eldoret
  • Kisii
  • Nyeri
  • Murang’a

When planted in areas such as Embu, Kathiani, Mua Hills, and Machakos, they should be irrigated.

How to plant Hass Avocados in Kenya

Before planting these avocados, ensure that the soil is well- fertilized. Farmers are encouraged to use Hybrid fertilizer, which increases yield by more than 30%.  The following steps should be taken when planting has avocados:

Ensure the land is ploughed up to 30cm deep and the topsoil is separated from the subsoil. After that, add enough organic fertilizer to the soil to replenish the missing nutrients. When using chemical fertilizer use DAP.

Hass avocados should be grown from grafted seedlings to increase their disease resistance. In addition, grafting makes the trees adaptable to various types of soil.

Planting Holes

Standard Hass spacing is 5 by 5 meters. This means that an acre of land should hold a maximum of 150 Avocado trees. Farmers are advised to dig the spaces straight to make it easier to tend the trees and harvest. The dug holes should be 2 feet deep or 1 meter deep if being planted in regions with poor rainfall.

Mulching and pruning

Mulching should be done using organic materials to reduce evaporation and high root temperatures affecting growth. In addition, mulching helps reduce weeds which directly compete for nutrients and water.

Pruning should be done before the flowering stage and harvesting. Hass Avocado farmers should also practice thinning to reduce competition for nutrients. instead of many low quality fruits, thinning will guarantee fewer quality fruits with a marketable weight and size.

Pests and Diseases that Affect hass Avocado farming in Kenya

The most efficient and economical method of pest and disease control is prevention. These preventative measures include weed control, proper selection of planting material, maintaining optimum plant density and proper fertilizer application.

Hass Avocado farming in Kenya is not considerably affected by pests and rarely will pest control require a chemical application. However, some of the major pests attacking avocados include false codling moth which is a brownish, night-flying, thrips, and insects.

Fungal diseases may also affect avocados and therefore need to be checked. They include;

Root Rot – Also known as Phytophthora cinnamomi. It is mostly found in areas with poorly drained soils and flood prone areas. Some of the preventive measures include fungal and hot water treatment of seeds and grafting on phytophthora resistant rootstock.

Cercospora – It is a fruit spot or Pseudocercospora purpurea also affects the fruits leaving small, light yellow spots which eventually turn to a brownish color on leaves and fruits. Its controlled using similar method to Anthracnose.

It attacks fruits twigs, and leaves. Lesions emerge as little dark spots a little raised and are oval or elongated. Its controlled using similar methods to Anthracnose.

COST OF HASS AVOCADO PRODUCTION IN KENYA

The cost of planting an acre of Hass avocado can vary depending on several factors such as the region, land preparation, labor costs, and

How much would it cost to plant an acre of Hass avocado in kenya

The cost of planting an acre of Hass avocado in Kenya can vary depending on several factors such as the location, land preparation, labor costs, and the cost of the avocado seedlings. However, here’s a breakdown of some of the major expenses involved in planting an acre of Hass avocado in Kenya:

Land preparation: The cost of land preparation for planting avocado trees can vary depending on the condition of the land and the amount of work required. In Kenya, the cost of land preparation can range from Ksh. 50,000 to Ksh. 150,000 per acre.

Avocado Seedlings: The cost of Hass avocado seedlings in Kenya can range from Ksh. 150 to Ksh. 300 per seedling from nurseries such as Fruit Africa . Assuming a planting density of 150-200 trees per acre, the cost of seedlings for one acre of Hass avocado can range from Ksh. 22,500 to Ksh. 60,000.

Fertilizers and Pesticides: Avocado trees require proper fertilization and pest control. The cost of fertilizers and pesticides in Kenya can range from Ksh. 20,000 to Ksh. 40,000 per acre.

Labor costs: The cost of labor for planting and maintaining one acre of Hass avocado in Kenya can range from Ksh. 50,000 to Ksh. 100,000 per acre, depending on the location and the level of mechanization used.

Overall, the estimated cost of planting one acre of Hass avocado in Kenya can range from Ksh. 150,000 to Ksh. 350,000, depending on the factors mentioned above. It is important to note that these are just rough estimates and the actual cost can vary depending on several other factors.

Harvesting of Hass Avocados

Kenya Hass Avocados flowers at around October and are mature for picking between June to September. It is important to know how to identify the correct harvesting period because avocados are harvested raw and ripen off the tree. Harvest a few fruits and keep them in favourable conditions to ripen. If the fruits ripen evenly, they can be considered to have been mature. Careful picking from the tress can now commence.

To prolong shelf life they must be;

Cooled after harvesting to the optimum storage temperature of  five degrees Celsius within 5hrs of harvesting.

Put into hot water treatment to kill fungal spores on and in the skin of the fruit. The avocadoes should be immersed in water heated to a temperature of fifty degrees Celsius for three to five minutes.

Profits from Hass avocado in Kenya

Hass avocado will generate Ksh 1 million to Ksh million per acre per harvest.If you plant 10 acres,you will earn at least Ksh 5 million in 2 years.

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