Increased Avocado Yields Present Karakuta In Kenya With Additional Opportunities

Posted on :Friday , 29th March 2024

Karakuta, a Kenyan avocado grower, is increasing the amount of Hass it produces by expanding into Tanzania and making additional investments in clonal technology.


One of Kenya's fastest-growing agribusinesses, Karakuta is based in Juja, Kiambu County, 45 minutes from Nairobi, the country's capital. It specializes in Hass avocados and fresh herbs. 15,000 well-watered avocado trees that are five years old make up the plantation; the fruit is marketed under the Karakuta Fresh Produce brand.


According to CEO Grace Ngungi, Karakuta has established an orchard with 3,000 clonal technology trees this year in collaboration with Brokaw Viveros, one of the biggest nurseries in Spain.


She said to Fruitnet, "The clonal technology produces higher yields and is resistant to diseases. A regular orchard typically yields 15–18 tonnes per hectare, whereas clonal trees typically yield about 30 tonnes.”


With its investment in clonal seedlings, Karakuta becomes the third company in Kenya. According to Ngungi, the investment would expand the farm's export capabilities for its clientele.


"The prolonged rains this year have resulted in a tremendous increase in yields at Karakuta," she stated. Thankfully, the fruits had reached a dry matter of 22–25 percent before the start of the season in March, giving them a rich and creamy flavour.


In Kenya, the primary avocado season lasts from March through July. A second, shorter season begins in late October.


"From our orchards in Kenya, we anticipate exporting 37 containers this season. Although Spain and the Netherlands are now our top markets for purchases, we also hope to expand this season into the UK and the UAE.” Ngungi stated. 


Ngungi claims that this season's particular difficulties are brought about by the circumstances in the Red Sea. First off, the transit time to Rotterdam has increased from 28 days to 45–50 days, while the transit time to Spain has increased from 21 days to 25 days. Additionally, it lengthens the payment period, particularly when clients only pay a portion after the receipt of verified quality.


“We anticipate starting up supply only in week 14. Because of El Niño's detrimental effects on yields, we expect the Peruvian season to end early this year. Thus, it's feasible that we'll continue exporting until week 29 or 30.”


According to Ngungi, Karakuta has also started operations in Tanzania, where it has formed partnerships with farmers to cultivate and sell produce under the Karakuta Fresh Produce brand.


"This will give our customers year-round supplies of Hass avocados since the season in Tanzania extends from March to January.


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