KIAMBU, Kenya, Aug 23 – Kiambu farmers are set to benefit from a deal between the county and an Israeli company in the avocado growing business.
With many farmers eager to try a different type of crop following bad seasons and yields in the traditional maize, beans and potato farming, the new produce is already a booming business among small scale farmers.
Poised to become a major horticultural export in the near future, the avocado business already constitutes about 17 percent of the total exports mostly to the European Union.
But under the Kiambu deal, that could go higher as there is a huge ready market in Israel under the umbrella of Guri Avocados.
“Farmers shall sign contracts with the Israeli company covering all aspects of the avocado value chain from initial avocado seedling acquisition to the purchase of harvest,” said Kiambu Governor William Kabogo.
The deal also provides for the establishment of a modern avocado seedling nursery equipped with state-of-the-art technologies. This facility shall be based at Waruhiu Agricultural Training Centre which is managed by the county.
“We shall witness the setting up of the institution of an avocado handling yard which shall include but will not be limited to a grading hall equipped with grading machines,” noted the Governor.
The agriculture rich county shall promote the business to the dry areas in the west of the county like Ndeiya.
Guri Avocados Managing Director Amram Cohen reiterated his company’s commitment in promoting Kenyan farmers and emphasised on transparency.
“All avocados harvested by farmers contracted by Guri Avocado shall be purchased by the company including the low grade of the avocado crop. Additionally, farmers shall be paid as promptly as possible after supplying their produce,” said Cohen.
The Israel Ambassador to Kenya Yahel Vilan who was also present at the signing of the memorandum of understanding noted that Israel was keen on doing business with Kenya especially in the areas of youth empowerment.
Farmers in Kiambu County shall acquire seedlings at the nursery at subsidised rates while the remaining seedlings shall be sold outside the county at market prices.