KENYA – Avocado farming in Kenya 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 by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) is banking on the favorable weather and availability of large tracts of land in the two regions. Director of seeds at KALRO, Robert Musyoki expressed his confidence in that the program stating that, if successful, it will improve Kenya’s ranking in the global production of precious health food. “Other than Rift Valley farmers who have embraced avocado farming on a large scale, land in Central Kenya is constrained and restricting commercialization of the crop,” he said. As at the end of 2021, Kenya was listed among the biggest avocado-producing countries in the world at position 15. With a production of 417,000 tonnes, the country tops Africa as Mexico takes the lead with 2.4 million tonnes at the global level. 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. To get a high-yielding crop that guarantees good quality and effectively competes with others in the international market, Mr Musyoki challenged farmers to plant certified seeds. Kenya has been steadily emerging as a global player in avocado supply, earning recognition from the UN FAO as one of the top 15 leading avocado exporting nations. Notably, Kenyan avocado exports to China hit Sh9 billion in the three months to May, defying steep competition in the market from Chile — a top producer of the fruit globally. Kenya has also successfully made its first avocado exports to India, tapping into a promising 1.4 billion consumer market, according to reports by Kenya’s state broadcaster, KBC. In an interview on KBC, Crop Development PS Harsama Kello described the shipment as a “big win” for Kenya because many of its farmers have begun producing the fruit because of the lucrative business opportunity they present. In this ranking, Kenya stands top in Africa with production averaging 417,000 and at an impressive 6th position globally.