Tanzania is blessed with a diversity of fruit trees, of which one of them is Avocado tree. According to information, Avocado originates from Mexico, was introduced in Zanzibar in 1982 and then its cultivation increased extensively in the 1900s.
For years in Tanzania, avocado has been a fruit for home consumption, but in recent years things have changed. According to a study conducted by the Tanzania Investment Centre and East African Trade Investment Hub in 2019, avocado has been transformed to be an important earner of forex for Tanzania and their source of edible oil.
The reports state that avocado has a huge potential to fill up the edible oils’ gap in Tanzania, which is currently Sh 7.62 billion ($294 million). Investing in the fruit for edible oil, would reduce over tonnes of annual cooking oil import.
Moreover, investing in avocado will also improve the country’s forex earning. It has huge potentials to earn Tanzanian millions in forex. Few weeks back, Tanzania Horticultural Association’s (Taha) executive director, Jacqueline Mkindi noted that coffee prices were dropping globally and avocados were becoming the next green gold. The prices are higher and there is increasing demand.
Like Kenya, it’s neighboring country, is ranked 8th globally in avocado production. Reports indicate in the first three months of 2021, Kenya exported 26,481 tonnes of avocado.
A brochure by Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (Sagcot) notes that in 2017 Kenya was the 6th largest exporter of avocados by volume and Tanzania was ranked 20th largest supplier.
However, as more and more invest in avocado production, policies are needed to ensure that water sources are protected as this crop is water intensive.