Avocado farming is an interesting venture when done as an agribusiness. Avocado has a high demand in the local and international markets. Fuerte avocado requires little care and hence ideal even for small scale farmers.
Ecological requirements of Grwowing Fuerte Avocado
Temperatures: The optimum temperatures for fuerte avocado growth range from 200C – 300C. They are sensitive to extremely high or low temperatures and do not tolerate frost.
Rainfall: Fuerte avocado plants grow well in moderate and well-distributed rainfall. In dry areas, they can be grown under irrigation. However, they are sensitive to drought and water-logging.
Wind: The trees have brittle branches that are easily damaged by wind. Planting wind breakers around the orchards is recommended.
Soils: Avocados thrive in deep, fertile, and well-drained soils with a pH range of 5.0-7.0. The plants are sensitive to high soil acidity, salinity, or alkalinity and hence do not perform well in certain parts of the coastal region.
Areas grown in Kenya
In Kenya, fuerte avocado performs well in areas such as Nyeri, Murang’a, Naivasha, Kiambu, Riftvalley, western counties, Siaya, Kisii, nyamira, most parts of eastern Kenya such as Kathiani, Machakos, Embu, Meru, Mua hills, and Kangundo.
Spacing and Planting
Fuerte trees grow vigorously and spread becoming wide and large trees. They require a spacing of 5m x 5m. Planting holes should have a diameter of 2ft by 2ft and 2 feet deep. The top soil should be mixed with well-decomposed manure to improve soil fertility. One acre can occupy between 150 trees.
Fuerte orchards should strictly be weed-free. To minimize the growth of weeds, planting cover crops such as beans and mulching is recommended. Mulching also increase water retention.
Putting bees in avocado orchards is recommended to enhance pollination.
Grafted fuerte variety starts bearing fruits 3-4 years after planting.
Avocado varieties that perform well in Kenya are;
- Fuerte avocado
- Hass avocado
Pests and Diseases
Fuerte avocado is susceptible to a number of pests and diseases such as;
- Scale insects
- False codling moth
- Fruit flies
- Spider mites
- Cerspora fruit spot
- Root rot
Production and Output
The production of fuerte plants depends on the propagation, management techniques, planting holes and spacing, and the ecological conditions. On average, one fuerte tree can produce 500-1000 fruits per year in the 5th year onwards. At a minimum price of ksh 10, a farmer can earn between Ksh 5000- Ksh10000 from one tree. This equates to Ksh 500,000 – Ksh 1000,000 per year from one acre. The yield increases over the years.
Price per seedling
At Oxfarm Ltd, we sell certified Fuerte avocado seedlings at ksh 150 each.
When planting avocados, spacing and holes are the most important investment. Poor spacing and poorly made holes will ruin the entire avocado farming investment. Setting a fuerte orchard is the only complicated part that farmers lack enough knowledge on. Oxfarm Ltd simplifies this step by coming up with a package to help farmers successfully establish avocado orchards. The farmer is only required to plough the land and Oxfarm establishes the orchard for them.
The package costs Ksh 40,500
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE?
- Free Modern Langsroth Beehive
- Free consultancy
- 150 certified and high-quality fuerte seedlings
- Labor (measurement and digging of planting holes, soil treatment and testing, planting) (50% discount offered)
- Organic manure (earthlee) equivalent to one bucket of normal manure (30% discount offered)
- Absorber KM per plant (reduces irrigation frequency by 50%)
- Lifetime agronomy support
- Market connection
The local and export market is growing day by day. Unfortunately, the production is still low. Currently, Kenya exports fuerte avocado to Spain, Italy, Germany, Russia, Netherlands, France and many other countries. In Kenya, we still haven’t sustained the local alone and export market. This shows there is a market gap that is yet to be filled.