In Kenya, traditional cash crops are fast being wiped out, with avocado trees taking their space on the farms. In Kirinyaga, some farmers have cut down their coffee bushes replacing them with avocado as they eye a fortune from the new venture.
Boniface Fundi is one of these growers. He planted 2,800 avocado seedlings on 6 ha at Nyangati, Mwea East sub county and last year, he sold Sh.145, 000 (€1,200) worth of avocados from only 15 trees.
Fundi started as a coffee farmer but later realized that the avocado project is more profitable. The farmer says he encourages farmers to plant avocado as well as macadamia trees.
“My target is that by the time they all mature, I should be harvesting at least 1,000 fruits from each tree, which translates to Sh.28 million in a year. Scaled down considering usual challenges, I should take home at least Sh.20 million,” he says, adding that with production costs of less than Sh.200, 000, the harvest is a fortune.
The windfall is fueled by international demand for the fruit after avocado exports to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates grew significantly in the recent past, besides the European market.
[ Sh.100 = €0.82 ]