KENYA – Kenya’s ambition to become a global leader in high-quality avocado production and export has gained significant momentum, following the Kenya Crops and Dairy Markets Systems (KCDMS) program.

The initiative, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided support to avocado farmers in 12 different counties.

The six-year program, centered on the principles of enhancing competitiveness, inclusivity, and resilience in the avocado sector, has made substantial progress toward realizing this national vision.

As KCDMS takes pride in contributing to Kenya’s remarkable growth in avocado exports, farmers actively involved in avocado production have expressed their appreciation for KCDMS’s substantial role in their success.

Damaris Omuka, the Farm Manager at KTL Farming Limited, an avocado producer and exporter in Tranz Nzoia, acknowledged the pivotal role played by KCDMS in the company’s success, particularly in the significant improvement of their yields (seedlings) and the doubling of their profit margins.

With a substantial KES 30 million investment from KCDMS, Omuka noted that the company’s vision to support farmers and advance the avocado industry in the country is progressively becoming a reality.

“After KCDMS came to the ground we have witnessed improved fortunes both on our side as a company and to our farmers who engage with us,” Omuka said.

This news comes weeks after the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) announced its plans to extends to the Western and Nyanza regions to scale up production of avocado to seize a larger share of the expanding export market.

The initiative, according to the Director of seeds at KALRO, Robert Musyoki is banking on the favorable weather and availability of large tracts of land in the two regions.

Mr Musyoki said the introduction of hass avocado in western Kenya is part of the government’s effort to double avocado production in the next five years from 26,000 hectares to more than 50,000 hectares.

“Farmers in the region have the competitive advantage of being served with two international airports at Kisumu and Eldoret which can be used to transport the highly perishable product,” he said.

Further demonstrating the speedy growth and expansion of the Kenyan avocado industry is the recent milestone by the country to finally send its inaugural shipment of avocados to India almost a year after exporting its initial shipment of Hass variety avocados to Shanghai, China.

The shipment, which was facilitated by KQ from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi presented a promising growth opportunity for local farmers, considering the prospective increase in the export market.

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