Avocado price triples in Malindi

avocado salashed. Photo by Potentash.jpg

Slashed avocado for consumption. Malindi is the best market for the fruit, offering three times more than most towns in Kenya. Photo by Pontansh

As the harvest of the avocado crop picks in most production areas in Kenya, the coastal town of Malindi town is buying at triple the price of what inland regions are offering for very 90kg bag.

The bag, which is costing Sh1,800 in Nakuru, Eldoret, and Mombasa is selling at Sh6,000 in Malindi. Mombasa, however, is also a town along the coast that is about 150km from Malindi.

The Malindi price is the highest for the commodity among the major towns prices under review by SokoPepe, an online farm produce cost watch.

Kisumu offers the least amount of money for the same quantity as the wholesalers pay Sh1,400.

The main season for avocado in Kenya starts from March to September. Fuerte harvests start from March while hass enters the market from May every year.

Kenya produces about 115,000 tonnes annually but about 70 per cent of the produce is exported to the European Union, Middle East and other Asian countries. This is a significant increase from 110,000 tonnes that were produced in 2010, according to the horticulture department of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Apart from the export, the local market also consumes avocados, with shortage periods earning farmers more than thrice the plenty season price.

One of the biggest benefits to the Kenyan farmers is the tropical climate, which causes the avocados to have a varied harvest period. This spread the production through the year.

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Avocado farming takes place in Murang’a, Kisii, Meru, western, among other regions.

The main consumers in the export market include the Netherlands, Singapore, Germany, Hong Kong, Russia, among others.

Peru, Chile and the United States’ California state are the leading producers of avocado in the world. But still the Kenyan avocado, the fuerter and hass compete with these American giants in the export market.

Besides consumption, avocado is used in the beauty products, harvesting of oil for cooking, among other applications.