Kenya resides in an ideal location for avocado growth, as avocados thrive in subtropical climates such as the Pacific Americas, South-east Asia, and Africa. African avocados are argued to be some of the greatest, with majority of the exported varieties coming from both Kenya and South Africa. These popular varieties are Hass, Fuerte, and Puebla. From the farms, the fruit is sent straight to pack houses where it is processed and prepared, ready to ship. Major like Selina Wamucii work with clients to co-ordinate large orders and determine packaging and shipping costs.
Hass avocados are ripe when the skin becomes dark and are ready to serve when the inside is white-green. The trees for this specific breed is semi spreading, with climate conditions being what they are in Kenya. The yield from a single tree can go up to 60 fruits on average. The volumes of Hass avocados from Kenya is likely to continue rising as many farmers are making the switch to avocados, with hass being seen as the most popular with great demand in global markers. Hass is grown in both Kenya and South Africa.
Feurte avocados are pear shaped with skin that is thin and glossy. It’s a green color with a textured and loose skin which makes the Fuerte easy to peel and eat. Feurte is the avocado used to make guacamole and is a hybrid between both a Mexican and a Guatemalan subspecies of avocados. This plant matures in 6-8 months after flowering with it’s season beginning between March and April. There is more of Feurte grown in Kenya as compared to South Africa.
Pueblas are a spreading tree with a dark green color. The tree bearing the fruit is a deep purple and almost maroon around the fruit. The fruit itself is very green in color. This type of avocado is normally used as a root stock and matures 5-7 months after blossoming. Puebla mainly grown in Kenya compared to South Africa.
Kenya has quickly established itself as Africa’s second highest avocado exporter, South Africa being first. France is the leading country purchasing Kenya avocados. Europe generally buys the most avocados because of the overall lacking climate for growing avocados. Kenya’s location plays a huge part in the production of delicious avocados, attracting many global companies to buy avocados from Kenya.
The Kenyan climate is sunny, the soil is dry and contains proper drainage. Avocado trees in this area thrive and the fruit tastes as good as the conditions they are grown in. With the difference in sea levels, the mixture of highlands also helps to diversify the quality of the product.
The government has taken several initiatives aimed at enabling the Kenyan avocado industry to fully comply with global standards and regulations. Bodies like KEPHIS and HCD are actively involved in monitoring as well as educating both farmers and exporters.