Fredrick Chege and Mary Njeri are avocado farmers from Elburgon, Nakuru County.
The couple has planted over 1,500 avocado trees which are at various stages of growth in their 10-acre farm.
However, before their success in avocado farming, Chege noted that they suffered a few setbacks that saw them incur massive losses.
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Here is their story as told by WoK.
In an interview with Nation, Chege disclosed that he ventured into Hass avocado farming in 2019 after buying certified seedlings.
The start was not easy as out of 1,200 seedlings that he bought, 900 of them died forcing him to buy some more.
“From these seedlings, only 300 of them survived since water was a big challenge for me then,” Chege stated.
He also lost other seedlings later after moles invaded his farm, forcing him to replace the damaged trees.
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By this time, Chege had spent about 630,000 on the farming project.
“The good thing with avocado is that once planted, the trees do not need greater maintenance especially when it comes to inputs like fertiliser,” he said.
He spaces the avocado trees at 15ft by 15ft to enable proper growth, and enough space for intercropping.
During their first harvest, they got 20,000 fruits with each tree producing 250 fruits which they sold to local traders at Ksh 10 and Ksh 20 depending on the size.
“…one tree may produce up to 400 fruits. Farmers can harvest two to three times per year depending on the season especially when rainfall is sufficient,” he explained.
The couple deal with buyers directly from the farm although they wish to work with established companies in their bid to create jobs for the youth.
They employ four workers.
“I call on farmers to embrace avocado farming since it has little expenses and second, the returns are good,” Njeri said.
Hass avocado farming in Kenya does well in higher altitudes of between 1000m to 2000m. Howevor, the fruit is somehow bigger in cooler areas as compared to warm areas.
It requires an optimum temperature of 20-24 degrees celcius. Avocado, grows in deep soils that are well drained to avoid root rot.
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