Self-help group Kihoto-Kihumbuini formed in 2014 to help link Kenyan avocado farmers with the market. The group, which has 32 members, links up farmers with companies that export horticultural produce, for competitive markets, says Francis Njoroge, the chairman.
He has 35 Hass trees, planting them after uprooting his bananas. Members of the group sell their fruits to Kakuzi Plc, which exports them to the European Union and other markets. Poor coffee and tea prices and ready export market for avocados has pulled many farmers in the county to the fruit.
“We work with 3,500 avocado farmers, many of them who grow the Hass avocado variety mainly in Mt Kenya and North Rift. We also have farmers from Kisii and Western parts of the country deliver fruit to our packhouse,” says Jonathan Kipruto, Kakuzi horticulture assistant general manager.
To sell to the firm fruits, one must be vetted and meet Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD) set guidelines for the export market, as well as those of Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (Kephis)