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Africa, a continent full of avocados

Africa, a continent full of avocados

Africa is the world’s second largest continent and the second most-populous, being behind Asia in both categories. It has a big territory of about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth’s total surface area and 20% of its land area.

This continent is pretty important for the avocado industry taking into account the last year’s growth avocado production and that they start in this industry on 1970. As well they have several production areas around the country, where we found Kenya that actually produces 80.000 tons; Mozambique with a total production of 1.000 tons of avocados; South Africa with a productivity of 120.000 tons; Tanzania produces 5.000 tons and Zimbabwe 5.000 tons.

It´s important to address each of this places to learn more about their production and market opportunities in this continent that is growing in the avocado industry and increasing their investment in this area to find new avocado varieties.

Mozambique is known as the Africa´s newest avocado production area. His first export was on 2018 and has planted approximately 500 hectares and is expanding around 100 hectares per year. The early production with Fuerte avocado maturing in late January and Hass in early March. The main planting is focused on Hass type cultivars of Carmen, Maluma and Hass. The product exports is focused on the South African domestic market, Europe and the Middle East.

The South Africa region had his best season in 2018 and exported 22 million cartons, which equivalents to 88, 0000 metric tons. The early production starts in the lower lying hot areas at the north and the maturity develops later in southern areas, and cooler high altitude plantings. Hass represents 62% and Greenskins 38% of its production. The main markets for the African Avocados are Europe, Russia, Middle East and South East of Asia.

Kenya, the industry in this region of Africa was initially focused on a type of Hass avocado called Fuerte, from smallholder growers, but nowadays there has been a lot of work to cultivate more Hass avocado. The production season is from February to October. Estimated crop is from 50,000 – 80,000 tons.

Tanzania is a region that focus on planting Hass type of avocados, around 700 hectares of avocado commercial production. Southern production areas have early Hass supply, while the northern regions close to the Kilimanjaro pick between May and late August.

And Zimbabwe`s production is focus in Hass avocado. The production season is on April and early August. Plantings are a mix of clonal and seedling rootstocks. The main market is Europe. 90% of the exported volume is handled by one export company.

Southern African industry is based on clonal rootstocks, this reduces the need for phosphonate treatments, providing some tolerance to Phytophthora Cinnamomi and also increases the productivity and some of them provide tolerance to saline conditions.

The sustainability is a key focus for the South African avocado industry so in order to export, companies must comply with international accreditations such as Global GAP and Haccp that sets high standards for sustainability in the agricultural and production environments.

To learn a more about the reality of the avocado market and other topics of great interest to the industry, attend to the IX World Avocado Congress. Get your ticket here: https://bit.ly/2IdoC7R

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