How avocado exports can bring prosperity to local farmers
MARKET: Increased export of avocados to high value European markets promises to boost incomes of smallholder producers by nearly 39 per cent as a result of better prices, a new report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and partners indicates
Currently, Kenya only exports 10 per cent of its avocado production compared to South Africa at 60 per cent and Chile at 55 per cent.
Kenya is the third largest producer of avocados with about 70 per cent being produced by smallholder farmers across the country.
The export market is dominated by five major exporters- Kakuzi, Vegpro, Sunripe, Kenya Horticultural Exporters and East Africa Growers.
Most of it is sourced from smallholder farmers. Dr Mulubrhan Amare, a senior researcher at IFPRI and lead author of the report said international agricultural markets generally offer higher price and demand higher quality as compared to the local markets.
“Producing for these markets could raise smallholder farmers’ incomes,” he said.
Entitled: ‘’ The impact of the smallholder farmers’ participation in avocado export markets on the labour market, farm yields, sales prices and incomes in Kenya’’, the report deduced that participating in avocado export markets raises incomes, revenues and fetches higher prices for the small holder farmers.
It also impacts labour inputs- cost of hired labour increases by almost Sh1,300 a year, and family labour inputs increase by about 15 days, of which the largest share comes from increases in female labour.
At least 790 avocado farming households in the country were analysed and studied.