Hass Avocado Farming in Kenya and the Market

Hass Avocado farming in Kenya, as well as around the globe, is gaining prominence, mostly because of the nutritious benefits of the fruit. The fruit is gaining popularity as a healthy super food and as such, the annual global demand is increasing at a faster rate than the annual global supply. This results in the fruit fetching high prices on the world market.

Despite the increase in the prices, the fruit’s demand continues to grow. Kenya has become the 6th largest producer of avocados in the world and as such, there is a great deal of talk and action around avocado farming in Kenya. Even the government is making a lot of efforts to retain our reputation for good quality and sustainable production for both domestic and global market.

Avocado farming is a long-term project that takes 2 years for the trees to come into production. To reap healthy rewards, a farmer needs to adopt specific practices so as to maintain a healthy plantation that yields top production for many years.

Hass Avocado Market

The Hass avocado market in Kenya has witnessed significant growth and emerged as a lucrative sector within the country’s agricultural industry. With its favorable climate, fertile soil, and increasing global demand for avocados, Kenya has become a major player in the international avocado market. This overview aims to provide a professional analysis of the opportunities and potential within the Hass avocado market in Kenya.

Market Size and Growth: The Kenyan avocado industry, particularly the Hass variety, has experienced remarkable growth in recent years. According to market reports, Kenya’s avocado exports have more than tripled in the last decade, reaching a market value of USD [insert value] in [insert year]. The sector’s annual growth rate has consistently been in the double digits, driven by rising global demand for Hass avocados and Kenya’s ability to produce high-quality fruit.

Factors Driving Market Growth:

  1. Favorable Climatic Conditions: Kenya’s diverse climate, ranging from highland regions to coastal areas, provides optimal conditions for Hass avocado cultivation. This enables year-round production and a steady supply of avocados to meet both domestic and international demands.
  2. Increasing Global Demand: Avocados, particularly the Hass variety, have gained popularity worldwide due to their nutritional benefits and versatile culinary uses. Consumers’ growing awareness of healthy eating habits has contributed to the rising demand for avocados, making them a staple in many diets globally.
  3. Export Opportunities: Kenya has successfully tapped into the international market, capitalizing on its strategic geographic location to access key export destinations. Europe, particularly the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, remains the primary market for Kenyan avocados, while emerging markets in the Middle East and Asia present promising growth prospects.
  4. Government Support and Investments: The Kenyan government has recognized the potential of the avocado sector and has implemented supportive policies, including the establishment of export protocols, quality control standards, and infrastructure development. This support has attracted investments in avocado farming, processing facilities, and value-added product development.

Challenges and Mitigation: While the Hass avocado market in Kenya presents significant opportunities, it is not without challenges. Some key challenges include:

  1. Quality Control and Standards: Maintaining consistent quality and meeting international standards throughout the value chain is crucial for market sustainability. Implementation of proper post-harvest handling, packaging, and compliance with international food safety regulations are essential to safeguard Kenya’s reputation as a reliable supplier.
  2. Market Price Volatility: Avocado prices can be subject to fluctuations due to global supply and demand dynamics. Diversification of export markets, value addition through processing, and establishing strong buyer relationships can help mitigate the risks associated with price volatility.
  3. Infrastructural Limitations: Improvements in transportation networks, cold storage facilities, and logistics are necessary to ensure efficient and timely delivery of avocados to domestic and export markets. Investments in infrastructure development can enhance market access and reduce post-harvest losses.

Conclusion: The Hass avocado market in Kenya offers significant opportunities for farmers, exporters, and investors alike. With a conducive climate, increasing global demand, government support, and export market access, the sector has the potential for sustained growth. However, addressing challenges related to quality control, market price volatility, and infrastructure development is crucial for maximizing the market’s potential and establishing Kenya as a reliable and competitive player in the global Hass avocado market.

By capitalizing on the country’s inherent strengths, implementing best practices, and fostering collaborations across the value chain, Kenya can further solidify its position as a leading producer and exporter of high-quality Hass avocados.

Some of the requirements needed so as to get the highest yield in Kenya include;

Cool temperatures

Hass Avocados are generally bigger in cool areas that are in altitudes between 1000m to 2000m, as compared to warm areas. The optimum temperature is 20 to 24 degrees Celsius. Hot, dry weather may cause the Hass Avocado fruit to drop prematurely. Although avocados are fairly resistant to drought, well distributed rainfall of 1000mm – 1200mm is needed for proper crop development. Avocados also hate wind. This is because the trees have very brittle branches that snap off easily. This explains why the highlands of Kiambu, Muranga and Kisii have been considered as the ideal places for hass avocado farming in Kenya.


Hass avocado plants require about 25mm water per week. The main roots are very shallow, thus drip or micro sprinklers are best suited for the plants. The farmers should have enough water all year round; without water, avocado trees can dry up fast. The irrigation water quality should be tested for pH, since high salts, sodium and chloride have a negative effect on the plants. A diligent farmer will invest in soil moisture monitoring system, so as to ensure water is evenly distributed throughout the root area.

Cultivation Requirements

Land preparation

This should be similar to the preparation of land for the other crops. In the case that it’s a newly cleared land, a farmer is advised to plant an annual crop for example, maize, peas or watermelon so as to achieve a good tillage of the cleared land. In the case of strong winds, ensure that there are necessary wind breakers such as hedges are in place.

Planting materials

Avocados can be grown from either seedlings or from the seeds. However, Hass avocados, which are preferred in the export market, are best grown from grafted seedlings. Grafting improves the variety by increasing its resistance to diseases, hence increasing the yield and increases its adaptability to various soils. The seedlings should be inspected by a professional so as to ensure that they are free from diseases. If you want to be sure you are getting high quality grafted hass avocado seedlings, buy them from oxfarm nursery along Nairobi Embu highway nurseries.

Planting holes

The standard spacing for grafted hass avocado in Kenya is 5 by 5 meters. With this spacing, 150 avocado trees can be planted in an acre. However, tree spacing within the line can range from 3m to 5m while the space between the lines should be at least 5m and at most 7m. The best practice is to dig the holes in a straight line. This will make tending to the trees and harvesting easy.

The holes should be at least 2 feet but can be up to 1m deep. Soil samples should be taken when digging the holes, while being careful not to mix the topsoil with the subsoil. Send the samples to a legitimate soil testing center for pH testing.


The farmer should use two buckets of farmyard manure properly mixed with the topsoil, 250gm of double superphosphate fertilizer, and a certified insecticide to fill the planting holes. Planting should be after the onset rains when the rainwater has properly penetrated the soil. Irrigate the newly planted seedlings until the first shoots appear. Sometimes, the young grafted hass avocado seedlings might need to be tied up with sticks to support them. 


A thick organic mulch is recommended in young plants so as to reduce evaporation off the soil and prevent very high and low root temperatures and salinity build up. The mulch also reduces weed competition.


Pruning starts at the planting stage when shoots from the rootstock of the grafted seedlings are removed in order to redirect all the growing energy to the top part. It is also done before flowering and upon completion of harvesting. Pruning allows light to penetrate the orchard, improves yield and provides a superior tree structure.


This involves removing some of the already formed fruits so as to reduce competition for nutrients. I know it’s a painful thing for a farmer to pluck off fruits that have already formed. However, it is necessary to do so in order to have a number of fruits that can be perfectly supported by the tree to grow to the desired large size.

Pests and Diseases

Prevention is the most efficient and economical method of pest and disease control. These measures include weed control, proper fertilizer application, maintaining optimum plant density and proper selection of planting materials.