The so-called green gold is rapidly gaining popularity on the African continent. Many countries in Africa including Nigeria and Uganda aim to drastically increase their avocado production and become top exporters in the next decade.
Already, Kenya is among the global top 10 producers. Export revenues in the East African country surged by a third between 2019 and 2020. Farmers are hailing the crop as an antidote to poverty in rural areas.
But the sought-after fruit has been making negative headlines around the world. Water shortages and the destruction of biodiversity have been linked to its production.
In East Africa and Nigeria, avocado farmers want to enter the insatiable export market.
However, environmental concerns cast a shadow over the commercial farming of avocados in other parts of the world including Latin America’s top exporting countries, such as Mexico and Chile.
But African avocado farming is promising a brighter future, according to both farmers and scientists.
Due to an emphasis on smallholders and beneficial rain patterns, the crop’s production is expected to be less environmentally harmful than on the American continent.
Avocado farming in Nigeria is yet to have a boost as many people are still planting pear on subsistence basis.
Again, most of the production in the country is done in the rural areas before it will get to the city centre.
Recently, few people are cultivating them as cash crop in large-scale commercial purpose.
The crop has market value both in the International and local markets.
Avocados are traditionally well-known for the large quantities of water they need to grow.
But Nigerian agripreneurs are now attempting to grow them in a new water-saving and sustainable way by using drip irrigation systems and recycling water.