KENYA – Sisi Village Produce (SVP), an agribusiness focused organization, has announced its plans to establish an avocado processing plant in Malava, Kakamega County for value addition.

The Processing plant will be established on a private Export Processing Zone (EPZ) facility that is under construction and owned by the organization, reveals SVP.

The EPZ will also be used as a sorting center for avocado received from farmers to identify high quality avocados that meet the export market for export.

Avocado fruits that will not meet the export market quality will be used at the processing plant to produce different avocado products including avocado oil.

Sisi Village Produce Avocado Ambassador Elijah Karungani encouraged farmers to plant many avocados trees promising that the organization will support farming and marketing of their fruits.

In addition, he urged farmers to plant Hass Avocado varieties for export, as well as other varieties.

“We have encouraged farmers to plant as low as 10 seedlings. It is our prayers that farmers plant avocados in large numbers to enhance the chances of this sub county growing economically. We will be having the power to purchase and hence change the perception of this sub county,” he noted.

The Chairperson of Mumbo Avocado Farmers’ Cooperative Society Limited Maxwell Shamala asserted that the processing plant will turn around the economy of Malava sub county since oil from avocado is needed across the world in the Pharmaceutical industries and in culinary recipes.

Shamala added that the climate of Malava Sub County is conducive and supports the thriving of avocado trees promising farmers that avocado farming has high returns.

According to the Horticultural Crops Directorate, Western Region produces Fuerte and Hass Avocados which are in demand in the export market.

To support the crop, the Kakamega County government has invested KES 10 million (USD 65,980) for avocado promotion and assisting farmers to access clean planting materials.

This new development comes shortly after the Kenyan government announced plans to scale production of avocadoes in the Western and Nyanza regions to seize a larger share of the expanding export market. 

The initiative by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) will bank 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.

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.

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