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Zombo Farmers Turn To Hass Avocado

A significant number of farmers in Zombo district have turned to Hass avocado production as an alternative to tea farming. Organized under the Zombo Avocado Growers’ Cooperative Society, these farmers have already planted 3,000 Hass avocado trees.

The Hass avocado variety, highly sought after for export in Uganda, is obtained through grafting the indigenous avocado species. It offers faster cultivation and greater durability compared to native species. Richard Canichan, an avocado farmer in Zombo district, says that he has successfully planted 200 Hass avocado trees in the past two months. Canichan’s primary motivation for venturing into Hass avocado production is to target the export market.

Geoffrey Onentho, one of the founding members of the Zombo Avocado Growers’ Cooperative Society, explained that their goal is to plant an additional 3,000 Hass avocado seedlings in the upcoming second season, scheduled for August.

Another farmer, Quinte Afoyomungu, highlighted the favorable soil quality and reliable rainfall patterns in the area as factors that motivated him to venture into Hass avocado farming.

Hass avocado farming was introduced in Uganda in 2013 when the country exported just over four tonnes of avocados, as reported by the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database (UN Comtrade). In 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries launched a nationwide avocado-growing campaign to promote Hass avocado production.

Globally, the main end markets for Hass avocados are France and the United Kingdom, with the Netherlands and Scandinavian nations exhibiting the highest per capita consumption. According to information from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Hass avocados typically reach maturity after two years and a single mature tree can yield more than 3,000 fruits (500kg) under proper agronomic management practices.

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