Murang’a county

Kenyan grower swaps coffee farming for avocados

For decades, Robert Mburu was successfully growing coffee in his village in Kihumbu-ini, Murang’a county. He had 600 coffee trees that he had tended to for years, but in 2015 he grew tired of the mismanagement of the sector. It was doing badly by then and farmers received as little as Sh 20 (€0.16) per kg of coffee sold.

Mburu decided to switch to avocado farming and planted 1,800 seedlings in the coffee farm before he eventually cut the coffee bushes to size to allow the avocado trees to grow. He now has an orchard that is eight acres big and also has mangoes, bananas and macadamia.

When Mburu started avocado farming, brokers would buy his fruits for about Sh5 per piece but the prices have steadily rose to up to Sh 25 per piece. He now sells his fruits to a variety of exporters with whom he has engaged in contract farming and who go to his farm to pick the fruits.

[ Sh100 = €0,78 ]


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