There is a group of farmers within Muranga County who believe that the Hass avocado is now Kenyan number one variety and that in tonnage it is destined to eventually exceed all other varieties including the Fuerte. This group points out that the Hass season compliments the Fuerte season making possible a two-variety coverage of the year as in the orange industry. Its paramount appeal to the grower for its heavy and precocious production. This fact coupled with its excellent eating and shipping quality, long season and medium size make it a profitable fruit for the entire Avocado industry.
The Hass is gaining acceptance in a wide area, possibly being suited to all avocado counties. This makes the Fuerte the “runner up” to the HASS for top rating and unless some new yet undeveloped variety hass made a spectacular rise the and it will eventually command the largest tonnage in the Kenya avocado industry.
GRAFTED AVOCADO DEMAND FOR SEEDLINGS
Hass trees are vigorous growers and easy to propagate. Trees top worked are usually very upright in growth like the parent tree but nursery trees range from moderately upright to spreading with most of them forming a rather well-balanced head. Close planting of the Hass has produced rather slender trees and some growers have considered this variety an upright tree to be planted as close as 6M by 6M apart.
This procedure has produced very heavy tonnage per acre at a surprising early age but it is undoubtedly true that these groves will have to be thinned. On deep soils, at least 7M spacing would seem to be required for mature trees. The Grafted Hass is very precocious, top worked trees usually bearing the first year and nursery trees by two years. It is quite impressive to produce so much fruit so soon and it is understandable the great grower interest that is developing around this variety. In some Counties growers are turning from the Fuerte to the Hass because of its much greater production in their localities. Although some Hass trees bear regularly there is a marked tendency with most trees to over bear one year and recuperate the next with a light crop. Unlike the old furte variety these trees will not kill themselves by continued over production. This alternation of production is usually a simple one of very heavy crops every other year. To the degree that the Hass overbears one year it will under bear the next. Occasionally trees will bear a terrific crop and will not even bloom the next year.
The Hass bloom is usually moderate in amount and comes later than the Fuerte with shorter duration. Unlike the Fuerte a healthy Hass tree limits the crop by the amount of the bloom. The flowers seem to all set and after a normal thinning retain a good crop commensurate with the amount of bloom.
GRAFTED HASS AVOCADOS SEASONS
The Hass has the longest season of any known avocado and has been demonstrated to be edible throughout most of the year. As a back-yard tree, its season is probably from March to November but commercially from May to October at in Kenya. At present, it fills the gap between the Fuerte and the other varieties bringing high prices at this time. When it is in greater supply its commercial limits will have to be determined.
GRAFTED AVOCADO MARKET
From the market standpoint, the Hass would appear to have everything. Excellent quality, popular size, small seed, good shipper, its leathery skin and long season complimenting the Fuerte. The Hass variety gives satisfaction and repeat business follows. This variety has been put to the top by Kakuzi farmers and has numbered among its members the pioneer growers of this variety and have had more experience with marketing it to date. The report says that it has consistently returned more than any other avocado. Its small size is very popular and as it comes on the market early it beats competition to a great extent.
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