Avocados have become Tanzania's latest boom product, bringing in at least $12 million (Sh27.6 billion) annually, up from 0 just five years ago, a new report reveals.
Less than ten years ago, avocado exports did not exist at all. But data from Tanzania's private sector horticultural apex body, the Tanzania Horticultural Association (Taha), as well as the Avocado Catalogue 2020 report, show that avocado exports jumped from 1,87 tonnes in 2014 to 9,000 tonnes in 2019, fetching the country $12 million last year.
Taha's chief development manager, Anthony Chamanga, said that farm-gate prices also rose dramatically, courtesy of Taha's painstaking efforts to develop the avocado value chain in the country.
It is understood that the government and Taha jointly worked to establish a state-of-the-art facility in Njombe, where farmers can store their fresh produce and is also a hub to connect with buyers. Taha data shows that over 50,000 farmers in the country are involved in avocado production, triggering its export surge by 380 percent in a span of five years.
The majority of the avocados are exported to Europe as its consumption of the fruit reached one million tonnes a year. The EU market represented 83 percent of Tanzanian avocado exports in 2018, whereby France imported 3,133MT; the Netherlands: 2,30411T, and UK: 1,193MT.