Avocado is an important commercial fruit in Kenya both for local and export markets. The fruit is highly nutritious – rich in proteins and cholesterol free. Both large-scale growers and small-scale farmers cultivate it. The fruit is also a source of minerals e.g., magnesium, phosphorous, calcium & potassium and vitamins e.g. A, B1, B2, B6, C & D needed for a healthy diet. In addition to being used as food, the fruit is gaining a wide use in cosmetics too.

Common Varieties in Kenya






Ecological Requirements

Hass avocado does well in altitudes between 1000m to 2000m. The fruit is generally bigger in cool areas as compared to warm areas. The optimum temperature is 20 to 24 degrees Celsius. Although avocados are resistant to drought, well-distributed rainfall of between 1000-1200mm is adequate for proper crop development. They also require well-drained soils to avoid root rot. The best soils are sandy or alluvial loams with pH ranging from 5 to 7.

Planting Material

Avocados can be grown from seeds or from seedlings. Graft to improve the variety by increasing its resistance to diseases, improving yield and increasing its adaptability to different soils.


Land Preparation

Planting holes

Field management

  1. Mulching– Apply mulch to reduce moisture loss and controls weed growth.
  2. Irrigation– Water is vital in several stages of tree development and the fruitingcycle.
  3. Use 5 to 20 liters of water depending on the size of the seedling.
  4. Fertilization- Apply 1 wheelbarrow of well decomposed manure twice a year ieduring the onset of long and short rains. Also, Top-dress with 120g of CAN.
  5. Lack of minerals will be seen in the leaves.
  6. Pruning– Prune at early stages before flowering and upon completion ofharvesting. This will encourage lateral growth and multiple framework branching. Ensure the tree canopy height is always maintained at 70% of its row width. This will allow light to penetrate, improve yield and provides a superior tree structure.
  7. Thinning– This involves removing some of the already formed fruits in orderreduce competition for nutrients, therefore ensuring high-quality fruits. Too many fruits will result to small sized fruits.
  8. Weed-Weed to reduce competition for nutrients and water.

Pest and diseases control

Common Pests include:

  1. Red spider mites- They are red-brown insects which hide under the leaves.
  2. Avocado Thrips- They are small insects which suck sap from the leaves.
  3. Whiteflies- Small white insects which also suck sap from avocado trees.
  4. Fruit Flies- They lay eggs on the fruits causing them to rot. Hang traps on trees to stop them.
  5. Pests can be controlled by spraying with effective pesticides.

Common Diseases

The common diseases attacking avocado are fungal. They include:

  1. Avocado root rot. It is a fungal disease which causes to have sunburnt and dieback at the tips. The trees also produce sparsely and have fewer leaves which are pale and wilted. The roots decay and the whole tree dies prematurely. Affected trees should be uprooted and destroyed. We recommend Hot water and fungicide treatment of seeds for seedling production to preventive measure. For affected trees, spray with a fungicide e.g. Ridomil or Master 72WP.
  2. Anthracnose: The fruits develop dark brown and dry spots. Young fruits maydrop. In more mature fruits, the infection remains hidden until the fruit is harvested and ripens. Control with a copper-based fungicide e.g Oshothane or Thiovit Jet.

Observe proper management, sanitation, and maintenance of the trees to control diseases in your orchard.

Harvesting Avocados

Grafted avocado varieties start to fruit after 3-4 years. The following are some of the indicators of reaching maturity:

You can harvest 250-300kgs per tree in a year (8-10 tons per acre per season).

Generally, this is what a farmer could expect.

  1. The first two years –growth stage
  2. 2nd year (harvest of 50 fruits per tree)
  3. 3rd year (harvest 200-250 fruits)
  4. 4th year –(400 fruits)
  5. 5th year – (800 fruits)
  6. 6th year – (1000 fruits)
  7. 7th year –(1100 fruits)
  8. 8th year –(more than 1300 fruits)
  9. 9th year – (more than 1500 fruits)
  10. 10th year – (more than 1750 fruits)

The farmer can calculate for himself how much he can likely get from one tree assuming the lowest price of 8/= a  piece.