Avocados are being produced in different parts of the country, including Rungwe district in the Mbeya region, Njombe region and Moshi district in the Kilimanjaro region. But it is Rungwe district that produces the most sought-after type of avocado in the international market: the Hass. Rungwe district is also the only area in the country that produces avocado in a large commercial scale.
Due to its importance, this fruit has turned out to be precious, and it may play a big part in improving the socio-economic lives of millions of farmers in Rungwe and beyond as the Hass type grown in the district is now beginning to find its way into other parts of the country. However, according to stakeholders, the spread is slow because of lack of enough seeds and seedlings.
Experts believe that the future of Tanzania becoming an international avocado powerhouse will only be possible if the country starts producing more avocado seeds and seedlings to assist more farmers in favourable weather conditions to open up more avocado farms.
Agricultural experts as well as most farmers especially in Rungwe district emphasize that the government should start protecting and even forbid the export and sale of avocado seeds and seedlings outside the country until Tanzania becomes self-sufficient and whereby farmers who intend to engage in avocado farming have enough seeds.
Nicholas Kyomo, the Secretary General of Rungwe avocado growers union UWAMARU accuses firms of not being concerned with improving avocado farming in Tanzania. He advises firms to stop the export of avocado seeds because once other neighbouring countries start producing the lucrative avocado type, the Tanzanian market may start facing tough competitive prices.