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Lucrative avocado farming

Nakuru County Director for Agriculture Fredrick Owino today commended avocado farmers in the county for creating more and faster jobs than the traditional forms of farming such as dairy and maize farming.

He said a guaranteed market for avocados has motivated farmers and even the unemployed youths have embraced the trade.

The director was speaking today during a meeting of farmers in Njoro.

Owino said in collaboration with various partners the county government has so far distributed over 800,000 avocado seedlings across to assist farmers increase the acreage.

He noted that the distributions and good fruit husbandry have contributed to fruit production sustainability for the profitable export market, and empowered farmers financially.

Mr Owino said last year the Department of Agriculture allocated Sh52 million to fund the free avocado seedling distribution programme and the returns are more than what they anticipated because it has enormously spurred the growth across the county.

The Director said agriculture employs approximately 70% of workers in the country, and as white-collar jobs remain challenging, the county is witnessing a sort of exodus back to the farm.

He said the social networking sites and the internet are making farm-to-market linkages much easier such that what would have taken many days to find 10 years ago can be sold in a minute online.

Julius Maina, a framer in Njoro who employs five workers said the rewarding avocado farming has enabled him to drill a water borehole, which enables him to drip irrigate the avocado trees during the dry spell.

The director assured the farmers of continued support and said last year the country exported 85 million kilos of avocado worthy Sh 14.4 billion.

By Veronica Bosibori

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