Avocado Varieties and Export Markets for Sustainable Agriculture and Afforestation in Kenya


  • Domeniter Naomi Kathula The Management University of Africa


Agriculture plays a large role in Kenya’s economy, employing more than 40 percent of Kenya’s total population and more than 70 percent of the country’s rural inhabitants. Sustainable agriculture in Kenya can improve crop yields, stimulate the economy and help mitigate climate change. Kenya is implementing a range of programs to increase sustainable agriculture, these are important steps to help the country build a prosperous future for all who live there. Over the years the land being farmed has seen a slow fertility degradation resulting in worsening yields per hectare, however total output have increased due to clearing and expansion. This study was anchored on transaction cost theory. Based on the concept of transaction cost theory, farmers’ participation in the market is constrained by transaction costs incurred during marketing such as information search costs, negotiation costs, monitoring costs, cost of transporting products to market, cost of sorting and grading and cost of harvesting. By adopting literature review based methodology, the study reviewed relevant literature to obtain main themes. The findings revealed that farmers who participate in export markets differ significantly from nonparticipating farmers as they are more experienced and have somewhat larger farms, have received more training, and own more avocado trees of the Hass variety, the type favoured in export markets. The study established that living near a well-functioning avocado farmers’ group is positively associated with participation in export markets and that participation in avocado export markets has positive impacts on incomes, revenues, prices, and labour inputs. The study found that Kenya has over 40 different varieties of Avocado with Hass as the main export variety and Fuerte is preferred for processing. Other commercial varieties identified in Kenya include Keitt, Reed, Booth 8, Simmonds, Pinkerton, Nabal, Puebla, Tonnage, Ettinger, Hayes, G6 and G7.These popular varieties are Hass, Fuerte, and Puebla. The study concludes that agriculture often places significant pressure on natural resources and the environment, as such sustainable agricultural practices are intended to protect the environment, expand the Earth’s natural resource base, and maintain and improve soil fertility. Sustainable agriculture is about increasing profitable farm income, promoting environmental stewardship, enhancing quality of life for farm families and communities and increase production for human food and fiber needs. The study also concludes that the domestic market is the largest source of demand for Kenyan avocados accounting for over 80% of the total production and the rest are exported as fresh fruits or processed and exported as crude oil. Based on the conclusion, the study recommends that for the avocado fruits from Kenya to compete favourably in the global market, efforts must be made to ensure that the factors that affect fruit quality are addressed.

Keywords: Avocado, Variety, Export market, Sustainable, Agriculture, Afforestation.

Author Biography

Domeniter Naomi Kathula, The Management University of Africa



Abdussalam-Mohammed, W., Qasem Ali, A., & O Errayes, A. (2020). Green chemistry: principles, applications, and disadvantages. Chemical Methodologies, 4(4), 408-423.

Alhassan, A. Y. (2019). Competing Discourses of Sustainability in African Agriculture: A Case Study of the Sustainable Agriculture Discourse of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Doctoral dissertation, University of Saskatchewan).

Amare, M., Mariara, J., Oostendorp, R., & Pradhan, M. (2019). The impact of smallholder farmers’ participation in avocado export markets on the labour market, farm yields, sales prices, and incomes in Kenya. Land Use Policy, 88, 104168.

Anibaldi, R., Rundle-Thiele, S., David, P., & Roemer, C. (2021). Theoretical Underpinnings in Research Investigating Barriers for Implementing Environmentally Sustainable Farming Practices: Insights from a Systematic Literature Review. Land, 10(4), 386.

Ayala, M. O. (2020, February). Avocado: The ‘Green Gold’ Causing Environment Havoc.

In World Economic Forum (Vol. 24, p. 6).

Bara, G. T., & Laing, M. D. (2020). Attractiveness of different coloured sticky traps to the South African citrus thrips (Scirtothrips aurantii Faure) in avocado, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. African Entomology, 28(1), 133-141.

Brooker, R. W., George, T. S., Homulle, Z., Karley, A. J., Newton, A. C., Pakeman, R. J., & Schöb,

C. (2021). Facilitation and biodiversity–ecosystem function relationships in crop production systems and their role in sustainable farming. Journal of Ecology 7(17), 33-66.

Cui, Z., Zhang, H., Chen, X., Zhang, C., Ma, W., Huang, C., & Dou, Z. (2018). Pursuing sustainable productivity with millions of smallholder farmers. Nature, 555(7696), 363-366.

De Corato, U. (2020). Towards New Soil Management Strategies for Improving Soil Quality and Ecosystem Services in Sustainable Agriculture: Editorial Overview.

Denvir, A., Arima, E. Y., González-Rodríguez, A., & Young, K. R. (2021). Ecological and human dimensions of avocado expansion in México: Towards supply-chain sustainability. Ambio, 1-15.

Edna, G. J. (2019). Essays on Smallholder Avocado Contract Farming, Gender Patterns in Labour Allocation and the Effect of Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture on Food Security in Kenya (Doctoral dissertation, University of Nairobi).

Eyhorn, F., Muller, A., Reganold, J. P., Frison, E., Herren, H. R., Luttikholt, L., ... & Smith, P. (2019). Sustainability in global agriculture driven by organic farming. Nature Sustainability, 2(4), 253-255.

Gibbs, M., & Steele, P. (2018). Post-harvest technology of horticultural crops. Scientific e- Resources.

Hakizimana, C., & May, J. (2018). Can smallholder avocado production reduce poverty and improve food security through internal markets? The case of Giheta, Burundi. Forests, Trees and Livelihoods, 27(4), 203-216.

Johnny, E. G., Mariara, J. K., Mulwa, R., & Ruigu, G. M. (2019). Smallholder avocado contract farming in Kenya: determinants and differentials in outcomes. African Journal of Economic Review, 7(2), 91-112.

Juma, I., Fors, H., Hovmalm, H. P., Nyomora, A., Fatih, M., Geleta, M., ... & Ortiz, R. O. (2019). Avocado production and local trade in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania: A case of an emerging trade commodity from horticulture. Agronomy, 9(11), 749.

Kallideen, R. (2020). A relook at the epidemiology of cercospora spot on avocado in South Africa (Doctoral dissertation).

Kamau, J. W., Stellmacher, T., Biber-Freudenberger, L., & Borgemeister, C. (2018). Organic and conventional agriculture in Kenya: A typology of smallholder farms in Kajiado and Murang'a counties. Journal of rural studies, 57, 171-185.

Karing'u, K. N., Isaboke, H. N., & Ndirangu, S. N. (2020). Transaction costs and participation in avocado export marketing in Murang’a County, Kenya. Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies.

Kariuki, W. D. (2020). Influence of Economic Factors on Hass Avocado Production In Gatundu South Constituency, Kiambu County.

Karuku, G. N. (2018). Soil and water conservation measures and challenges in Kenya: A review. International Journal of Agronomy and Agricultural Research, 12(6), 116-145.

Kimaru, K. S., Muchemi, K. P., & Mwangi, J. W. (2020). Effects of anthracnose disease on avocado production in Kenya. Cogent Food & Agriculture, 6(1), 1799531.

Leshore, L., & Minja, D. (2019). Factors affecting implementation of Vision 2030 flagship projects in Kenya: A case of the Galana-Kulalu irrigation scheme. International Academic Journal of Law and Society, 1(2), 395-410.

Moya, B., Parker, A., & Sakrabani, R. (2019). Challenges to the use of fertilisers derived from human excreta: The case of vegetable exports from Kenya to Europe and influence of certification systems. Food policy, 85, 72-78.

Muenster, D. (2018). Performing alternative agriculture: Critique and recuperation in zero budget natural farming, South India. Journal of Political Ecology, 25(1), 748-764.

Muriithi, B., & Kabubo-Mariara, J. (2020). The Dynamics and Role of Gender in High-Value Avocado Farming in Kenya.

Njuguna, N. J. (2018). Effect of marketing mix strategies on export performance of avocado firms in Kenya (Doctoral dissertation, Strathmore University).

Nyberg, Y., Musee, C., Wachiye, E., Jonsson, M., Wetterlind, J., & Öborn, I. (2020). Effects of Agroforestry and Other Sustainable Practices in the Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project (KACP). Land, 9(10), 389.

Odularu, G. (Ed.). (2020). Nutrition, Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change in Africa: Issues and Innovative Strategies. Springer Nature.

Omisore, A. G. (2018). Attaining Sustainable Development Goals in sub-Saharan Africa; The need to address environmental challenges. Environmental development, 25, 138-145.

Omolo, P., Tana, P., Mutebi, C., Okwach, E., Onyango, H., & Okach, K. O. (2017). Analysis of avocado marketing in Trans-Nzoia district, Kenya.

Omondi, S. O., Oluoch‐Kosura, W., & Jirström, M. (2017). The role of urban-based agriculture on food security: Kenyan case studies. Geographical research, 55(2), 231-241.

Randela, M. Q. (2018). Climate change and avocado production: a case study of the Limpopo province of South Africa (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pretoria).

Ritson, C. (2020). Population Growth and Global Food Supplies. In Food Education and Food Technology in School Curricula (pp. 261-271). Springer, Cham.

Singh, M. (2021). Organic farming for sustainable agriculture. Indian Journal of Organic Farming, 1(1).

Steyn, T. C. (2020). Comparing hail risk management strategies through whole-farm multi-period stochastic budgeting for avocado production in South Africa (Doctoral dissertation, Stellenbosch: Stellenbosch University).

Tambwe, M. (2019). Kenyan avocado exporter becomes part of the processing. In International Trade Forum (No. 3/4, pp. 50-51). International Trade Centre.

Timler, C., Alvarez, S., DeClerck, F., Remans, R., Raneri, J., Carmona, N. E., ... & Groot, J. C. (2020). Exploring solution spaces for nutrition-sensitive agriculture in Kenya and Vietnam. Agricultural Systems, 180, 102774.

Toukem, N. K., Yusuf, A. A., Dubois, T., Abdel-Rahman, E. M., Adan, M. S., & Mohamed, S. A. (2020). Landscape Vegetation Productivity Influences Population Dynamics of Key Pests in Small Avocado Farms in Kenya. Insects, 11(7), 424.

Tsangas, M., Gavriel, I., Doula, M., Xeni, F., & Zorpas, A. A. (2020). Life cycle analysis in the framework of agricultural strategic development planning in the Balkan region. Sustainability, 12(5), 1813.

Tyce, M. (2020). A ‘private-sector success story’? Uncovering the role of politics and the state in Kenya’s horticultural export sector. The Journal of Development Studies, 56(10), 1877- 1893.

Uosukainen, D. V. (2018). Fruit for Food: The Food and Nutrition Security Impacts of Inclusive Export-Oriented Avocado Farming in the Upper Mara River Basin, Kenya (Master's thesis).

Wanjiku, E. K., Waceke, J. W., & Mbaka, J. N. (2021). Suppression of Stem-End Rot on Avocado Fruit Using Trichoderma spp. in the Central Highlands of Kenya. Advances in Agriculture, 2021.

Wanjiku, E. K., Waceke, J. W., Wanjala, B. W., & Mbaka, J. N. (2020). Identification and Pathogenicity of Fungal Pathogens Associated with Stem End Rots of Avocado Fruits in Kenya. International Journal of Microbiology, 2020.

Wawire, A. W., Wangia, S. M., & Okello, J. J. (2017). Determinants of use of information and communication technologies in Agriculture: The case of Kenya agricultural commodity exchange in Bungoma County, Kenya. Journal of Agricultural Science, 9(3), 128-137.




How to Cite

Kathula, D. N. (2021). Avocado Varieties and Export Markets for Sustainable Agriculture and Afforestation in Kenya. Journal of Agriculture, 5(1), 1–26. Retrieved from https://stratfordjournals.org/journals/index.php/journal-of-agriculture/article/view/739