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    avocado society of kenya

    By George Munene

    Avo Pesa is a new platform that connects avocado farmers to local and international avocado buyers. Founded by The Avocado Society of Kenya (ASOK), a registered association for avocado growers, exporters, and other value chain players, Avo Pesa will help streamline marketing inefficiency within the avocado sector by connecting farmers directly to large scale buyers, improving the long-term profitability of avocado agribusiness in Kenya.

    “All farmers do is register on ASOK’s website, giving their name, contact details, and location. Their expected harvests and offer price as well as the avocado variety, ” explained Newton Maina, a company executive, and agronomist.

    The platform also registers both local and international avocado buyers. 

    Related News: Kakuzi commits Sh400M on upscaling smallholder avocado farmers

    Related News: Global avocado demand projected to double by 2024.

    More farmers are setting their sights on avocado farming as the fruit’s profits continue to soar. Data from the Horticultural Crops Directorate showed that avocados made up half of fruit exports in Kenya, with the country being among the top five global producers of the fruit in 2020. 72,000 tons of avocados were exported last year, up from 59,000 tons the previous year earning avocado farmers and exporters Sh15 billion dollars.

    “Until the end of the season we will be experiencing a seller’s market and farmers should capitalise on this depressed avocado supply,” Maina said. 

    Avocado prices are at their lowest at the start of their harvest; between February and March. 

    Related News: Kakuzi offering avocado farmers free fruit maturity testing services

    The Avocado Society of Kenya’s membership encompasses growers, exporters, government entities, and private sector players. So far the firm has onboarded 8,571 growers, 155 corporate members, 25 international members, and exports the fruit to 7 major international destinations. 

    Farmers can access Avo Pesa here: Farmer sell request

    Buyers can access Avo Pesa here: Buy Kenya avocados

    The Avocado Society of Kenya: 0722292360

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    unnamed 1

    By George Munene

    Kirinyaga County farmers are set to benefit from the construction of four new markets that will curtail losses caused by long farm-to-market wait times for avocado and tomato farmers.

    The aggregation centers that are set to be completed in the next three months will be based in Githure, Gathoge, Karumandi, and Makutano constituencies and bring to 15 the number of modern fresh produce markets in the county.

    These centers will offer farmers and traders an open-air market that is more appropriate to their current selling points by the roadside and on walkways.

    The County's Governor Anne Waiguru announced plans to establish an avocado collection and packaging center, where the county’s produce will be processed, packaged and branded in readiness for local and export markets.

    A tomato factory will also be constructed to enable processing for local and export markets. Waiguru said the factory will enable farmers to earn more money from tomato products and save them from post-harvest losses.

    In anticipation of increased demand, farmers have been supported to establish nurseries where they are propagating quality tomato and avocado seedlings for sale to other farmers within and outside the county.

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    Mark of Quality KS1758

    By George Munene

    Kenya has introduced a Mark of Quality, 'KS1758’ Code of Practice for locally traded horticultural produce. This is meant to improve the quality and efficacy of domestically consumed vegetables and fruits.

    At its unveiling, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya said the quality mark will also help farmers earn a premium from supermarkets and other retail stores as local consumers have become more aware of the potential hazards of consuming unsafe food. At the same time, the capacity of counties to reach support farmers adhering to these safety regulations will be enhanced. Local governments will also invest in farmer support services such as testing, capacity building, and certification.

    Related News: Experts advise farmers to form groups for certification of organic exports

    Related News: Fertilizer manufacture enlisting organic farmers to supply ready market

    The Government is looking to have this 'KS1758’ adopted as the national standard. To this end, it is working with the Retail Traders Association of Kenya and other private sector players to have supermarkets and other large horticultural retail outlets have their agri-produce suppliers adopt the Mark of Quality.

    He pointed out that while the value of horticulture consumed in Kenya has been rising; from being worth Sh209 billion in 2015 to Sh268 billion in 2019; little focus has been placed on ensuring this produce is safe and anywhere near the quality standards demanded by international markets which consume only four per cent of the horticulture produced by the country.

    “Most of the focus has been placed on food security and little on produce, quality, and safety. The quality mark will not only enhance market access by addressing pesticide residue challenges and harmful organisms but also protect consumer health”, Munya added.

    Related News: Organisation to train more farmers to meet growing organic food demand

    A Kenyan first, ‘KS1758’ Code of Practice has been developed with support from the Rockefeller Foundation and a collaborative effort by the Retail Traders Association of Kenya, Horticultural Crops Development Authority, and the Standards Implementation Committee.

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