How To Start Avocado Farming In Nigeria Or Africa: The Complete Guide

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Avocado 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.

Mexico is the highest avocado producing and exporting country in the world. The total avocado production area in the country is around 415,520 acres, which produces over 1.52 million metric tons every year. While the estimated total world production for avocados in 2017 was 5,924,398 metric tonnes, up 5.5% from 5,614,649 tonnes in 2016.

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Nigeria is ranked 83rd in global avocado exports and 115th in global avocado imports.

Avocado sales in Nigeria are still limited because the country is having challenges in cultivating the crop due to the fact that a lot of people don’t patronize it like other fruits. Essentially, people prefer consuming other fruits to avocado because they don’t know its health benefits.

Despite the low consumption rate, the international appeal for the crop is very high, and starting an avocado farming business in Nigeria with a major focus on the export business and a lesser focus on local supply could be a profitable move to make.

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What Is Avocado?

Avocado is a pear-shaped fruit with rough leathery skin and smooth, oily edible flesh. It is also called the alligator pear

The avocado, which originated from south-central Mexico, is grouped as a member belonging to the flowering plant family 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.

 

What Is Avocado Farming?

Avocado farming is the process of growing avocado trees for the consumption of its fruits in different personal and commercial forms.

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Business Opportunities In Avocado Farming

1). Avocado 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.

2). Skin Lotions: 

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

3). Food Variety: 

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 flavour and can be eaten purely as a fruit.

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Facts And Benefits Of Avocado

  • Each avocado contains about 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving
  • Avocados help reguate blood pressure
  • Avocados contain lutein which is good for the eyes
  • Avocados are a good source of vitamin B, which help fight off diseases and infections
  • Avocados help fight off cancer
  • Avocados contain good fat which helps lower cholesterol
  • Avocados are low in sugar. And they contain fibre, which helps you feel full longer
  • Hundreds of avocado variety are cultivated around the world

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Types Of Avocado

1). Hass: 

Hass avocado is the most popular variety. It is available all year round and has a flavour 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.

2). 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.

3). Gwen:

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

Beyonf these 3 types, there are over 100 varieties of avocadoes worldwide.

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How To Start Avocado Farming In Nigeria: Step By Step Guide

There are two methods of planting avocados; the water planting method and the standard soil planting method. Growing avocado as a farm plant requires the soil planting method. 

1). Selection: 

Select great quality avocado fruits. Cut the flesh away from the seed. Then gently remove the seed. 

2). Planting:

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, giving about 12m x 12m spacing.

3). Fertilization: 

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.

4). Management:

This involves tending to the plant as it grows to aid it further. Practice proper irrigation methods by watering the plant about three times a week but more often in times of aridity. Ward of pests and diseases using insecticides and pesticides, although these will not be a significant problem.

5). Harvesting: 

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’re ready to eat when soft.

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Challenges Of Avocado Farming In Nigeria

Here are some challenges that can affect starting avocado farming in Nigeria, Africa, or many other places around the world:

  • Pest and diseases
  • Lack of government support
  • Lack of funding for large scale production
  • Lack of a highly favourable market
  • Lack of highly equipped storage facilities 
  • Lack of efficient production mechanisms
  • Not popularly known
  • Absence of a vast ready market
  • Poor funding of research activities
  • Bush burning
  • Lack of capital for large scale production
  • Lack of easy access to the international market
  • Lack of adequate widespread knowledge on how to produce high-quality products
  • Lack of funds to import international standard processing machinery
  • Thieves and criminals

See Also: How To Write A Business Plan: The Complete Guide

 

To Sum It Up

The avocado farming business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your own ability to build a wide supply chain network. If you’re looking for a farming business to venture into, the avocado farming business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.

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