KENYA – Granot International Company, operator of the largest avocado packing house in Israel, has launched its operations in Kenya with the aim of creating a value addition chain for both local consumption and export.
The company has planted 55,000 trees of avocado out of a target of 300,000 on a 400-hectare farm located at Ndabibi, Naivasha, in Nakuru County.
Ndabibi farm, which will become the company’s production hub and a world-class agricultural center, allows the company to secure year-round avocado production for their new marketing arm.
The project expands existing avocado investments in Tanzania and Mozambique, for a total of more than 1,250 hectares of production.
With an annual revenue of more than US$1.5 billion, Granot is one of the largest cooperatives in the world.
The company has 20 factories and corporations, mainly focused on agriculture and the needs of the Kibbutzim, their communities, and their members.
The latest official figures from the UN FAO show Kenya is now among the biggest avocado-producing countries in the world.
Mexico leads the global rankings with 2.4 million metric tonnes of production, followed by Colombia with 980,000 metric tonnes with Peru taking the third spot with 777,000 metric tonnes followed by Indonesia at 669,000 metric tonnes, and the Dominican Republic with 634,000 metric tonnes.
Kenya, which is among the world’s top fifteen, tops the African countries with a production of 417,000 metric tonnes followed by Ethiopia, which has produced 152,000 metric tonnes as of the end of 2021.
The commercial production area in Kenya is estimated at about 7,500 hectares, with marketable production fluctuating between 60,000 and 90,000 metric tonnes as more farmers venture into the business.
Nakuru County Governor Susan Kihika said avocado farming has the potential to boost the county’s economy and expressed her readiness to partner with Granot International, to infuse technology and value addition to growing the crop.
Kenya hopes to double its avocado production in the next five years as it is set to increase farming land from 26,000 ha to more than 50,000 ha.
Over the next two weeks, the Director General of Kenya Plant Health Inspection Service has revealed that Kenya will make an inaugural export of avocado to India through the Kenya High Commission in India.
Kenya has been expanding its fresh produce market from the European Union to Asia as stiff competition starts to surface from its neighbor, Tanzania.