Growing avocados replaces coffee in Tanzania

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In the shadow of Kilamanjaro, Tanzania’s farmers are replacing their coffee crop with avocados.

The farmers in the Sika district have grown avocado for a hundred years, since they were introduced by the German, However sales were limited to the local market until Africado introduced commercialization in 2007.

The company farms 137 hectares around the Kilimanjaro area and contracts other commercial and local small holder farmers to grow Hass avocadoes. It has distributed avocado seedlings and provides training about good agricultural practices, in addition to providing market access, primarily to the European Union.

The outgrower program currently encompasses around 2000 local farmers and has received an international Global GAP certification for safe and sustainable agricultural practices.

Finnfund, a Finnish development finance company is providing a 2.5 million Euro secured loan to Africado, to expand and develop its operations. The company also has plans to diversify into other varieties of avocados, and nuts.

Expanded production of coffee in Brazil and Vietnam has eroded the price of coffee so Tanzanian farmers were looking for alternative cash crops.

A press release from Finnfund says Africado fits with its target investments in developing countries because it promotes responsible agricultural and employment practices, and generate export income, strengthening the balance of current payments of the country. And because agriculture has great potential.

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