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Staff writer

Avocados 🥑 are nutrious fruits eaten when ripe, rich in vitamins and oils but are increasingly been sought for the production of oil and avocado pulp which is mainly used for guacamole.

Guacamole is an avocado-based dip, spread, or salad first developed in Mexico. In addition to its use in modern Mexican cuisine, it has become part of international and American cuisine as a dip, condiment and salad ingredient. (Wikipedia)

Guacamole – Mesa Mexican cuisine /Courtesy/

The steady and growing demand for avocados 🥑 in Europe and North America has turned the once upon a time village fruit into the new oil or gold for many small scale farmers across Africa.

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo called the fruit “the new oil of Nigeria” during a meeting with members of the Avocado Society of Nigeria (ASN).

Abasanjo is an avocado-enthusiat, farmer and is the largest stakeholder in ASN. According to Deutsche Welle, a German media company, he owns 20 hectares of Hass avocado farm land— the avocado variety most popular for foreign exports.


• The tree is naturally acclimated to Africa’s tropical climate. Moderately warm temperatures 15 ° celsius to 29.5° celsius (60 F to 85 F) with moderate humidity.

• It requires minimum maintenance compared to other major cash crops such as coffee and tea.

• An avocado tree has a long lifespan of about 50 years.

An avocado tree in Murang’a County, Kenya.
/Africa Equity Media/

Kenya 🇰🇪 overtook South Africa 🇿🇦 as the top producer of the fruit in 2021. The industry in Kenya is still in its infancy, unlike in South Africa.

Kenya’s Horticulture Crops Directorate (HCD) indicated a 33% rise in prices in 2020 from the previous year. A single fruit is averaging US $0.37 or just about $2.00 per kilogram or 3/4 of a pound (Ib).

In the first quarter of 2021, the east African nation exported 26,000 metric tons compared to 15,000 in a similar period in 2020, per HCD. These fruits are exported to Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Avocados ready for export from Kenya to Europe
Statista /Courtesy/

A small-scale farmer in Kenya’s top producing region, Murang’a earned about US $2,500 in one season from his 100 tree farm. The crop is harvested twice in a year, in March and October.

European buyers are literally going directly to farms and establish their interests before the fruits are ready for harvest.


The “green gold” as is said of the crop nowadays has seen a growing nuisance of gangs targeting growers, most of whom are vulnerable.

Farmers are coming together and forming vigilante groups to protect the crop. Young men are arming themselves with clubs and machetes as they start to patrol farms at night from dangerous thieves who are determined to have a piece of the action.

For some farmers, with the help of their children are starting to get technology implemented with 24/7 surveillance systems, flying drones to effectively secure the crop.

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