Avocado is a very lucrative fruit in Kenya. It is one of the top 5 most profitable fruits alongside banana, mango and pineapples and is only 2nd to mangoes as the most exported fruit. Kenya ranks as the highest African exporter of the fruit in the world, with most of its avocados ending up in European and Middle Eastern homes and plates. The country exports 115,000 metric tons per year earning an upwards of 14 billion to both the farmers and government.

In the local markets, the price of avocado per 90-kg bag varies in different counties. The fruit retails highest in Uasin-Gishu County where a bag goes for 3,600 shillings in Eldoret town, 3,000 in Mombasa and Nakuru, 2800 in Nairobi, 1,700 in Kisumu, 2,600 in Loitoktok and 900 shillings in Kisii (subject to inflation adjustment).

The high demand for the fruit has been attributed to both its profitability and associated health benefits which have highly contributed to better living.

Kenya not only exports the fruit to external markets, but sells the highly loved fruit locally with nearly half of the annual production finding its way back to Kenyan households.

Avocado is also an important ingredient in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry due to its healthy and massive oil content.

Some counties like Nyeri, Nakuru, Mombasa, Athi River and Nairobi already have their own factories that use the fruit in the production of cosmetics such as avocado oil, with construction of new factories on the way in Eldoret and Kisii.

Why you should start a small farm

Before you start your own avocado model farm, it is important to figure out your motivations for it. Your motivation will directly impact your strategy and approaches to avocado farming. Some of the major motivations include:

1. For Profit

Avocado is currently the 2nd most important Kenyan export fruit after the Mango. It fetches a good price locally and internationally, with a piece of fruit ranging from sh. 10 – 50 depending on the size and quality in the local markets. Local factories such as Kakuzi buy a kg for sh. 100 with the same fetching double the price at export markets.

It is advisable to do large scale in order to reap the best returns from the fruit. Kakuzi buys good quality avocados and pays handsomely with guaranteed payments every seven days. The Hass variety is most popular with Kenyan factories due to its high fat content.

Small scale farmers can supply the local markets or form co-operatives to export to foreign markets. Small-scale farmers make up to 70% of all avocado growers in Kenya.