Avocado growing has taken Kenya by storm due to its minimal care after planting coupled with suitability for inter-cropping with other short-term crops and the potential of harvesting for several years.
Mr Wahome Kiuria is a renowned avocado farmer and the founder of the Forest Edge Nurseries in Tetu Constituency Nyeri County. His nursery comprises of avocado seedlings as the largest investment as well as macadamia, tree tomatoes, strawberries, oranges and coffee.
Speaking to KNA at his farm, Kiuria said that he decided to venture into these crops after his previous investment of growing indigenous and exotic fruit varieties failed.
He said he has witnessed tremendous growth in the fruit farming especially avocados adding each tree produce approximately 1000 fruits which he then sold at an average of Sh19 per fruit thus making about Sh19, 000 per tree.
Kiuria advised other farmers to consider planting grafted avocado seedlings in order to get maximum profits from the venture.
The main challenge, he said was lack of small black polythene bags to transfer the seedlings from nurseries following the ban on polythene bags by the government some years back besides pests, water and poor roads.
On her part Ms Keziah Wanjiru, the farm manager, said avocado farming was even more appropriate for the elderly farmers since it didn’t require intensive labour and earned favourable returns. “Anyone can partake in this venture as it is not labor intensive,’’ she added.
By Ann Ngure and Maureen Gitubiah