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How to start a Profitable Avocado Farming – 8 Steps

If you want a sustainable agriculture business, then you might need to consider Avocado Farming. Avocado is a pear-shaped fruit with rough leathery skin and smooth, oily edible flesh. It is also called the alligator pear. Avocado originated from south-central Mexico, is grouped as a member of the flowering plant family called LAURACEAE.

They are commercially and medically of great value and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. Avocados have green skin, fleshy body that may be pear shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical. Commercially, they ripen after harvesting.

It is a food staple which is consumed in most countries around the world. It is a fruit with a unique in taste, and although not having the usual sweetness which most fruits possess, it still stands out.

The botanical name for Avocado is PERSIA AMERICANA, it is also called butter fruit because of its creamy nature. Avocado fruit is actually a natural butter. That is why it is used for salads and sandwiches. Avocado pear is grown in; Peru, Kenya, India, New Zealand, Brazil etc.

Mexico are the highest producers of avocado in the world while Kenya is the sixth but first in Africa. It is a tropical fruit plant and its like the pear fruit in terms of shape and creamy nature. They grow up to 60ft and above, the fruits have different shape ranging from oval, spherical, egg shape and pear shape.

Avocado is consumed mostly for medicinal values., it is rich in fatty acids but low in cholesterol. An ever green tree that is not capital intensive but produces good yield, it requires low care and management. Avocado farming is the process of growing avocado trees for the consumption of its fruits in different personal and commercial forms.

Avocado farming in Nigeria

In Nigeria where we are situated, this farming is yet to have a boost as many people are still planting pear on
subsistence basis. And most of the production is done in the rural areas. Before it will get to the city, many of the it would have spoiled.

Few people are now cultivating them as cash crop in large-scale commercial purpose. It has market value both in the International and local markets.

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Picture Credit:  Louis Hansel 

6 Health Benefits of Avocado to mankind.

  1. Reduction of Cholesterol
  2. Relief of arthritis symptoms
  3. Helping the body keep smart
  4. Treatment of the eyes
  5. Nutrition Filled
  6. Helps to absorb other nutrient.
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Reduction of cholesterol: Avocado is high in fats and very good for the body; one cup of sliced avocado can provide 32% of daily fat recommendation. it is a monounsaturated fat, and helps in such conditions as lowering risks of stroke and heart disease.

Relief of arthritis symptoms: Avocados contain Polyhydroxylated Fatty Alcohols (PFAs), which is an anti-inflammatory agent that helps the body to reduce inflammation. It also contains antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E that helps in fighting inflammation, which may help to relive the symptoms of Arthritis.

Helping the body keep smart: Avocados are filled with omega-3 fatty acids and natural vitamin E, which are both great for the brain. For example, they improve the blood supplied to the pre-frontal cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for planning, decision-making and critical thinking. High potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, lowering the risk of strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure.

Treatment of the eyes: Avocado contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids that are essential to eyes health, they help to protect the eyes from harmful light waves while decreasing the risk of eye disease

Nutrition filled: Avocado contains 20 vitamins and minerals – including a quarter of daily required vitamin C, which plays an important role in growth and repair of body tissues. Also, it is filled with B-6, which helps the body attack infection.

Absorbing other nutrients: Many important vitamins are fat soluble, and require fat to be absorbed into the body. These vitamins include vitamin A, K, D and E – adding avocado to heavy meals such as bread will be of great advantage to the body.

Beneficial during pregnancy: A cup of avocado contains nearly 25% of the recommended dose of folate
for pregnant women, which is essential for both mother and baby.

Other uses of Avocado.

For Skin Treatment: Avocados could be used as base materials to formulate creams and lotions. They
contain various health benefits and therefore add more value to the product.

For Oil Production: Avocado oil can be processed from avocados, and this has a high economic value. It
is also very healthy since it’s low in cholesterol and helps treat arthritis patients.

For Food Consumption: Avocado is used as a primary ingredient when it comes to the production of
various foods. Besides the nutrients, it supplies it also compliments a dish with extra flavor and can be
eaten purely as a fruit.

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Picture credit: Heather Ford 

A guide to starting AVOCADO FARMING BUSINESS.

  1. Land preparation for avocado farming
  2. Sorting out for the best variety for the avocado farming business
  3. Planting of the Avocado
  4. Fertilization of the avocado farming business
  5. Irrigation of the avocado farming business
  6. Weeding of the avocado farming business
  7. Pruning of the avocado farming business
  8. Harvesting of the avocado
  9. Marketing of the avocado
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Preparation of land for the Avocado farming

The land should be cleared of grasses and trees, the soil should be loosened for aeration and water penetration. Apply manure during second ploughing to improve the soil fertility. Avocado grows in a wide variety of soil, however, a well-drained sandy loam soil rich in organic matter is ideal for optimum growth.

Sorting out for the best variety for the avocado farming

The Best variety of Avocado should be planted, especially, the most sought after in the location where one is. Select great quality avocado fruits. Cut the flesh away from the seed. Then gently remove the seed.

Types of Avocado for he avocado farming business

There are various varieties of Avocado fruit, the common ones are;

GWEN: The Gwen avocado is similar to the Hass avocado in taste and appearance. This is a more
expensive Guatemalan variety with a thick, dark-green skin that is easy to remove.

HASS: Hass avocado is the most popular variety. It is available all year round and has a flavor of butter and nuts, and spherical shape. The skin of Hass avocado turns from a bold green to a dark purplish-black as it matures and ripens.

BROGDEN: The Brogden avocado is a hybrid of West Indian and Mexican varieties. It is very resistant to
the cold, and this is an advantage is, but it is also difficult to open up with easy access.

There are over 100 varieties of avocadoes in the world apart from these ones, but, they are the most
common ones in the world.

Planting of the avocado

The pointed end of the seed should be planted into the soil till only about half of the seed is
beneath the earth, and then cover it with dirt, but this should be done carefully so as not to damage the
seed.

Avocados like to grow with a company; therefore, other seeds should be planted as well. i.e, it gives room for intercropping with about 12m x 12m spacing. It can be propagated through seed planting in the nursery and grafting. Matured seed from the fruit are used for direct sowing in nursery beds or in polyethylene bags. The seedlings should be transplanted to the main field after 6 months of planting in the nursery.

Dig pit 90cm by 90cm and fill it with a mixture of top soil and manure in the ratio of 1:1.
Start planting early February to April when the rains are just starting. But the choice of spacing depends
on the variety. It can be grown in pots and containers.

Fertilization of the avocado farming

Fertilize the crops soon after you see the plant above the ground. Do not do so hastily, or
the root system will fail to form correctly. When planted and nurtured right, the avocado should grow
without any hindrances and fruit production should begin in about 3 to 4 years.

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Irrigation of the avocado farm

Avocado farming requires humid condition during important stages such as flowering and fruiting stages. Make sure you water them immediately after transplanting for quick establishment. Avocado pear seriously needs water to grow otherwise they die off. Irrigate them during dry season or when rain is in shortage. For commercial avocado farming use drip irrigation. Intense heat and dryness can lead to falling of leaves, flowers, fruit and branches.

Weeding of the avocado farming business

Weeding should be done early either mechanically or manually. At the early stage herbicides
should be applied carefully or laborers should be paid to clear the weeds.

Pruning of the avocado farm

Avocado trees have straight and well-arranged branches and may not need Pruning but in case
there is any tree with clustered branches, the tree should be pruned lightly.

Control of pests and diseases: Ward off pests and diseases using insecticides and pesticides. Avocado
Common pests are mealy bug, mites, scales etc. While it’s common diseases are fruit spot,; root rot, leaf
rot etc. Use insecticides and pesticides to attack them.

Harvesting of the avocado

Harvest fruits when the avocados look big and fat. They will not ripen on the tree. Pluck
them and place inside a brown bag to ripen. They are ready to eat when it is soft. Harvesting starts
between 5-6 years depending on the variety and method of propagation.

If you use grafted method you can start harvesting in 3 years time the same with using hybrid variety. When matured the green changes to yellow while purple changes to brown. You have to keep them for about 5-10 days to soften.
Use sharp objects to cut the fruit or you use your hand to pluck them. If you allow them to fall on their
own they will get damaged (break).

Marketing the avocado

Avocado has a ready market. Sell to market traders, fruit sellers or export them abroad.
Avocado pear is hardly ever enough for the growing population before you can blink your eyes there are
already out of stock.

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I am Israel Otoijamun, the Founder of Ofarms.ng. I am a blogger, web and graphics designer, brand manager, product manager and farmer. I have interests in crypto currency, technology, business and agriculture.

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Israel Otoijamun

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