Sunday, May 26, 2024

I quit my job aged 32 in the 80s, I have never regretted farming Hass Avocados

Co-Op post

Hass Avocado has become the new green gold in Kenya. Many farmers are drawn to its health benefits and, not to forget, the lucrative returns it offers from just a single tree.

Avocado farming has become popular among farmers of all ages in Kenya, including the elderly like Steve. Despite being a small farmer, Steve has been able to sustain his lifestyle, send his children to school, and support his family through avocado farming on his small farm.

In 1989, Steve left his job in public service to become a farmer at the tender age of 32 years. He started by growing kale and spinach on 3 acres of land. Later, he switched to tea farming on 5 acres of land.

Making the decision to switch careers was tough for Steve, but he bravely took the plunge. While he returned to farming, his wife continued with her career.

“I decided to remove my children from academy schools and take them to public schools because of money. I asked my wife to continue working and we agreed,” he said.

Farming went smoothly for Steve, especially since he had customers from distant areas. He recalled one time, making Sh. 30,000 from his weekly kale harvest.

After that, he started doing avocado farming. He began by buying seedlings from Kakuzi and planting them. Those trees he started with can now produce between 1,000 to 2,000 avocados per season

“This tree is gold. You have to love the soil. You have to love avocado,” he said.

Netherlands buyer looking for avocado suppliers from Kenya, Africa

Steve noted that farming is a hustle particularly because one has to love the soil for them to succeed in it. Currently, he tends to nearly 700 avocado trees on his farm, mostly the Hass variety.

The farmer advised people to plant avocados given that they grow in many places provided there’s enough water. He mentioned that there is ready market for avocados, so it’s a good venture.

Steve suggested buying seedlings at Kakuzi if one is interested in farming Avocados. He also sells some on his farm for Sh. 100 to Sh. 300 each.

On his farm, he employs up to 5 people daily. They are responsible for watering, maturing and spraying the blue copper on his avocados.

“Oh my! I’m in love with it. I’ve educated all my children through the avocado business.”

He said that he is happy with growing avocados and has no plans to start growing other cash crops.

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