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KALRO to host free workshop on ‘Advances in Technology for Avocado Production’

Avocado

By George Munene

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), Kenya Horticulture Crops Directorate (HCD), New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited (PFR) in partnership with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), and Olivado EPZ Ltd would like to welcome Kenyan avocado farmers to a workshop on ‘Advances in Technology for Avocado Production in Kenya’ at KALRO Headquarters, Loresho, Nairobi, on 23-24 May 2023

The event will be free to attend, with numbers limited to 200 and registrations accepted on a first come first served basis.

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Background

Avocado is Kenya’s largest horticultural export valued at $140M p.a. While Kenya is the world’s third largest producer of avocado, 70% of production is based on small-scale growers with 5-20 trees per homestead and only 25% of production is currently exported. The industry in Kenya is undergoing rapid and significant change both by establishing large commercial orchards and expanding smallholder production, particularly into western counties.

In 2013, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in partnership with The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd and EPZ Ltd, initiated the Kenya Avocado Industry Support Project (KAISP), aimed at developing and introducing new and improved technologies to support the growth of the avocado industry in Kenya.

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Topics to be discussed include:

  • Plant health: the risk of Phytophthora root rot to the Kenya industry and Phytophthora-free nursery production to prevent spread of the disease.
  • Fruit quality: the importance of fruit dry matter as a measure of fruit maturity and quality and consumer preference
  • Fruit maturity: a novel, computer-based model for predicting optimum harvest maturity dates in different localities in Kenya
  • Avocado water use and irrigation needs: A computer-based model defining water needs of trees of different ages in the avocado growing areas of
  • Kenya. This is a vital tool for identifying locations and soil types in Kenya suitable for sustainable avocado production
  • Sustainable avocado orchards: Orchard biodiversity, soil restoration, fertility maintenance, as factors in sustainable avocado production in Kenya
  • Meeting the research needs of avocado in Kenya

Inquiries to:

Dr Lusike Wasilwa Lusike.Wasilwa@kalro.org; +254 726551561
Ms Sarah Ndegwa: sarahndegwa471@gmail.com +254 722360922
Ms Bridget Mwangi: bridget@olivado.com

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