RWANDA – Farmers in Huye District have called for support to increase avocado production, emphasizing the crop’s potential to transform lives in the region.

The appeal was made during a campaign event held by the Liberal Party (PL) on June 28.

During the event, farmers from Huye, Nyaruguru, Nyamagabe, and Gisagara gathered to discuss agricultural issues and listen to PL parliamentary aspirants.

One key issue raised was the need for better seed varieties to enhance avocado production. “We grow avocados and supply markets including Kigali. We need support to increase production and export to the international market. This will boost women’s development, given that most of our women grow and sell fruits including avocado as a business,” said Valerie Musabyimana, a Huye District resident.

Avocado, once considered a rural crop in Rwanda, has gained commercial significance. According to the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), this shift has led to a notable increase in avocado exports over the past decade.

Farmers believe that adopting high-yield varieties like Hass could further boost production. “Avocado varieties called Hass are in high demand. If all farmers receive such varieties, our district could become a hub of avocado exports as production increases,” said Claude Nduwumwe, another resident of Huye District.

One of the challenges highlighted by farmers is the fluctuation in avocado prices due to market instability.

Claude Nduwumwe emphasized the need for a sustainable market to avoid selling produce at low prices.

“There is a time when we sell one avocado at below Rwf100. A good market and adding value to avocado could eliminate giveaway prices,” he added. Increasing productive varieties and establishing a reliable market could significantly improve farmers’ incomes and living standards.

Rwanda’s avocado exports have surged, with annual revenue growing from USD 440,000 to USD 6.3 million.

NAEB projects that, with continued investments, annual exports could reach 16,000 tonnes by 2030, potentially generating USD 40 million. This growth underscores the importance of supporting avocado farmers with better seed varieties and market access.

Adrie Umuhire, the Secretary General of the Liberal Party, assured farmers of the party’s commitment to advocating for agricultural development if elected. “We need modern agriculture to lift residents out of poverty. That is why in Nyamagabe District, farmers are currently growing Irish Potatoes supplying markets such as Kigali,” she noted.

The Liberal Party’s campaign will continue in Kamonyi, Muhanga, Ruhango, and Nyanza Districts, aiming to address agricultural challenges and promote development across the Southern Province.

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