The cultivation of Hass avocados, one of the fruits with the greatest export potential worldwide, is being promoted in Santa Elena, an Ecuadorian region with a favorable climate for the growth of this variety. According to Andres Villamil, the manager of Las Cinthyas, a farm in the commune of El Azucar that is growing this fruit, they plan to start exporting to Europe the production of their 650 trees next year.
This product, which is not only consumed in homes and restaurants but it's also used by the cosmetic industry, has sanitary access for approximately 30 destinations. In order to enter more markets, producers need to obtain certifications such as Global Gap, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), or organic certification.
Xavier Lazo, the Minister of Agriculture, visited the plantation a few days ago and stressed that avocado consumption was increasing worldwide and locally. The official stressed that Ecuador had to focus on growing products that had high international demand and that, in this particular case, could be produced by small and medium producers.
According to Xavier Freile, the president of Corpoaguate, a union that brings together 24 members, estimates are that there will be 5,000 hectares planted with Hass avocados in Ecuador in five years. The leader is optimistic that the Ministry is seeing the potential of this product.
The world's demand for this fruit is on the rise. Worldwide avocado imports in 2019 grew by 2% compared to 2018. The United States, the Netherlands, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany account for 76% of world purchases of this fruit.
Depending on the destination, avocado is sold in boxes of 18 and 25 kilos. The price per kilo, depending on the season, can range from $ 1.5 to $ 1.80.
According to estimates, Ecuador currently has 400 hectares of Hass variety planted in the Sierra and 250 hectares at the Coast.