Kisii Farmers Urged to Produce Avocadoes for the Local Market and for Export

Kisii - Farmers in Kisii County have been urged to diversity to avocado farming to improve their standards of living.
Addressing over 500 farmers in Kenyenya Stadium in Kisii County, CS Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Mr. Willy Bett advised the farmers that Hass, Fuerte and Pinkerton varieties were in high demand in overseas markets and they should take advantage to grow the varieties. "You have a conducive climate and fertile soils to produce avocado and also process into oil as value addition," he stated.

KEPHIS MD Dr. Esther Kimani reiterated that avocado has health, medicinal and beauty benefits, hence its high demand. "Avocado is used to prepare salads and juice, to produce lotions and creams and for medicinal purposes," she stated. She also asked the farmers to liaise with local hotels and see if they can supply the fruit, thereby enhance their businesses. She also advised the farmers to be vigilant in addressing pests and diseases which compromise quality standards.
“Also purchase seedlings from nurseries that have been certified by KEPHIS. We can also teach you how to be exporters of avocado,” she said.

KEPHIS has been working with county governments to train farmers on avocado production. The Corporation has trained farmers in Kaptel in Nandi and Soin/Sigowett constituency in Kericho County. Plans are underway to cover other counties.
Kenya exports avocado to the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Egypt, The Netherlands, France, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Spain, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Germany and Hong Kong. There are emerging markets in Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.

The farmers forum was preceded by training of over 100 farmers at the Agricultural Training Centre in Kisii town where farmers were sensitized on quality standards for export, management of pests and diseases and quality standards/requirements for fruit tree nurseries.

The Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr. Willy Bett (centre) with prominent Kisii avocado farmer (2nd left) addressing the media on the importance of diversifying to avocado production in Kisii.

KEPHIS MD Dr. Esther Kimani teaching farmers on the benefits of growing avocadoes. She highlighted how Avocado is used to prepare salads, for production of beauty products and for medicinal purposes hence its high demand locally and internationally.

Farmers who attended the training on avocado production pose with the KEPHIS MD Dr. Esther Kimani. They were taught on the quality standards for export, how to manage pests and diseases and quality standards/requirements for avocado fruit tree nurseries.

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