Avocado farming in Kenya

Avocado Farming In Kenya: Everything You Need To Know

Looking to start avocado farming in Kenya? 

If yes, then look no further! 

We will share with you everything you need to know about Avocado farming in Kenya.

Let’s dive in now!

The avocado is a large, green fruit that has a smooth, oily skin. 

The fruit is filled with a creamy, yellow-green flesh that has a nutty flavor. 

Avocados are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, and potassium. 

They are also a good source of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 in Kenya.

Avocados are a popular fruit that is grown commercially. 

I’m here to tell you that you can grow your own avocado tree with just a little bit of patience and care. 

Let’s talk about how to grow your own avocado tree.

Avocado Farming In Kenya – Where To Start

If you are thinking about starting an avocado orchard, the first thing you need to do is determine if there is a market for your avocados. 

You can do this by contacting local grocery stores and restaurants to see if they would be interested in buying your avocados.

The next step is to find a suitable location for your orchard in Kenya. 

Avocados require a warm, sunny climate with a mild winter. 

The ideal location for an avocado orchard is in a tropical or subtropical region.

If you live in an area that is not ideal for avocado farming, you can grow avocados in a greenhouse.

The final step is to purchase a planting and propagation kit. 

This kit will provide you with everything you need to start your orchard in Kenya.

Read also: How to buy Safaricom shares in Kenya

Climate And Avocado Variety In Kenya

The climate in which avocados are grown is important in determining the variety of avocado that will be most successful. 

Avocados are a warm weather fruit that does best in areas with mild winters and hot summers. 

The two main types of avocados are Hass and Fuerte that you can plant in Kenya. 

Hass avocados are the most common variety and do well in warm climates. 

Fuerte avocados are a less common variety that are better suited for cooler climates.

Avocado Irrigation Requirements

The avocado tree requires a moderate amount of water. 

It is sensitive to drought and will not produce fruit if it does not receive enough water. 

The tree should be irrigated whenever the soil feels dry to the touch. 

It is important to avoid over watering the tree, as this can lead to root rot.

Avocado Farming In Kenya Guide: Avocado Soil

When growing avocados in Kenya, the soil requirements are important to consider. 

Avocados like rich, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5. 

They are not tolerant of salt, so if you are in an area with a high salt content in the soil, you will need to take measures to mitigate this. 

Avocado Farming In Kenya Guide: Planting Avocados

Avocados can be grown from seed, but the tree will not be true to variety. 

It is better to start with a grafted tree. 

Avocados are propagated by root cuttings or by air layering.

To plant an avocado tree in Kenya, dig a hole twice as wide as the pot and just as deep. 

Remove the tree from the pot and place it in the hole. 

Fill in the hole with soil and pack it down. Water the tree well.

The avocado tree is a slow growing tree that can take up to 10 years to produce fruit. 

The tree can grow up to 40 feet tall, but is usually pruned to 20 feet. 

How Often To Water New Avocado Tree

Watering a new avocado tree should be done every other day for the first week, then every three days for the next two weeks. 

Thereafter, watering should be done every week or two, as needed.

Avocado Farming In Kenya Guide: Avocado Fertilizer

In order to produce a high yield of avocados, it is important to fertilize the trees correctly. 

Nitrogen is the most important nutrient for avocado trees, so a high nitrogen fertilizer should be used. 

A balanced fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is also good.

Fertilizer should be applied every four to six weeks, according to the instructions on the package. 

In general, a high nitrogen fertilizer should be used in the early stages of growth, and a balanced fertilizer should be used when the trees are bearing fruit.

Propagation And Planting Material In An Avocado Fruit Farming

There are three ways to propagate avocado trees: from seed, from cuttings, and from grafting.

When starting with a seed, it is important to note that not all avocado seeds will germinate. 

To increase your chances of success, choose a seed from a fruit that is ripe and has a dark, leathery skin. 

Remove the seed from the avocado and wash it off. 

Then, poke a hole in the seed about half an inch deep and insert three toothpicks, evenly spaced around the circumference of the seed. 

Rest the seed on top of a glass jar so that the toothpicks are suspending the seed in the air and the base of the seed is resting in the jar of water. 

Change the water daily and keep the seed in a warm place. 

After about two to four weeks, you will start to see some roots and a stem growing from the seed. 

Once the stem has grown about six inches tall, it is time to plant the seed in soil.

If you want to propagate an avocado tree from a cutting, the best time to do so is in the late spring or early summer. 

Choose a healthy, green branch from an avocado tree that is at least six inches long.

Land Preparation In An Avocado Fruit Farming In Kenya

The land should be prepared by plowing and harrowing the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. 

Then, a layer of compost or well-rotted manure should be applied and worked into the soil. 

This will help to improve the soil’s structure, fertility, and water-holding capacity.

Before planting, test the soil’s pH and amend it if necessary. 

Avocados prefer a pH of 6.5 to 7.0. 

If the soil is too acidic, sulfur can be added to lower the pH; if it is too alkaline, lime can be added to raise the pH.

When planting, dig a hole twice as wide as the plant’s root ball and the same depth. 

Carefully remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole. 

Backfill the hole with soil, making sure to firm it in place. Water thoroughly.

Planting and Spacing In An Avocado Fruit Farming In Kenya

Space avocado trees 18 to 30 feet apart, depending on the variety.

Spacing should be 6-8 feet for young trees and 10-12 feet for mature trees.

In an avocado orchard, trees are planted in rows with a certain amount of space between them. 

The amount of space necessary for each tree depends on the age of the tree.

Young trees need 6 to 8 feet of space, while mature trees need 10 to 12 feet.

Pruning In An Avocado Fruit Farming In Kenya

There are several reasons for pruning your avocado trees in Kenya. 

One is to improve the overall health of the tree by removing dead or diseased wood. 

Another reason is to improve the shape of the tree. 

When avocados are allowed to grow naturally, they often become tall and lanky with a lot of dead wood. 

Pruning can help to improve the shape of the tree and make it more productive.

Pruning also helps to control the size of the tree. 

An avocado tree can quickly become quite large and take up a lot of space. 

Pruning can help to keep the tree size under control.

Finally, pruning can help to improve the yield of the tree. 

By removing some of the less productive branches, you can direct the tree’s resources towards the more productive branches.

When pruning an avocado tree, you should always use sharp, clean pruning shears. 

Make sure to cut the branch off cleanly, just above a bud or leaf node. 

Do not cut into the bud or node, as this will damage the tree and could cause the branch to die.

The following are the recommended practices for pruning avocado trees:

  • Remove crossing branches to open the tree canopy and improve light penetration and air circulation.
  • Remove water sprouts and suckers from the trunk and the lower branches.
  • Thin out the interior of the tree canopy to allow more light and air to penetrate.
  • Remove dead and damaged branches.

 Weed Control In an Avocado Fruit Farming

Weed control is an important part of any agriculture operation, and avocado farming is no exception. 

Weeds can compete with crops for water, sunlight, and nutrients, leading to reduced yields and lower quality fruit.

There are a number of different methods that can be used for weed control in avocado orchards, including mechanical cultivation, herbicides, and mulching. 

Mechanical cultivation, which includes tillage and hand weeding, is the most common method for weed control in avocado orchards. 

Herbicides can also be used, but must be applied carefully so as not to damage the avocado trees. 

Mulching can be an effective way to control weeds, but it can also be expensive.

Choosing the right method for weed control in avocado orchards depends on a number of factors.

These factors include the size and layout of the orchard, the type of weeds present, and the budget of the farm. 

No single method is perfect, so it is important to use a combination of methods to achieve the best results.

Pests and Diseases In An Avocado Fruit Farming

The three main pests in avocado farming are the fruit fly, the mealybug, and the scale. 

The fruit fly lays eggs in the avocado, and the larvae eat the fruit. 

The mealybug and scale suck the sap from the avocado, which can weaken the tree and make it more susceptible to disease.

There are several diseases that can affect avocado trees, including anthracnose, bacterial canker, and bacterial spot. 

These diseases can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown and the fruit to rot.

Harvesting Of An Avocado Fruit

The avocado tree is a large, evergreen, a perennial tree that grows to a height of 50 feet, has a broad, rounded crown, and a trunk that is often crooked. 

The leaves are dark green, glossy, and lance-shaped, and the fruit is a large, fleshy berry that is green or black when ripe. 

Avocados are harvested from the tree when they are mature, but before they have ripened. 

The fruit is cut from the tree with a sharp knife and then placed in sacks for transport to the packing plant. 

At the packing plant, the avocados are sorted and graded according to size and quality. 

The best-quality avocados are sent to the market, and the lower-quality avocados are used for processing into guacamole, avocado oil, and other products.

The Yield Of An Avocado Fruit

How many avocados will be yielded from a tree in Kenya?

This answer will vary depending on the cultivar, age of the tree, pruning and fertilization history, climate, and other factors. 

A healthy, well-managed avocado tree in Kenya may yield 90 to 455 kilograms of fruit per year.

The yield of avocado fruit is highly variable and depends on the cultivar, the age of the tree, the climate, and the growing conditions. 

In general, a healthy, well-maintained avocado tree can produce about 200 to 300 avocados annually.

Conclusion

The soil requirements for growing avocados are not very demanding in Kenya. 

Avocados will grow in a wide range of soils, from sandy to clayey, but they prefer well-drained, loamy soil. 

A soil pH of 6.0 to 6.8 is ideal.

Avocados are a drought tolerant crop and do not require frequent irrigation. 

However, young trees should be watered regularly until they are established.

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