Kisii County, through the Department of Agriculture, is set to distribute about 190,000 Hass avocado seedlings to farmers across the county in a bid to improve their livelihoods.

Kisii County to Distribute Hass Avocado Seedlings at Subsidized Price

Speaking at the Kisii Agricultural Training Centre (ATC) on the outskirts of Kisii town, the County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture Elijah Obwori said the market for Hass avocado was readily available locally and internationally and encouraged the farmers to collect the seedlings at the centre.

“We project that if all our farmers in the county purchase the seedlings, we would have planted the Hass avocado in 80 acres of land and enabled our farmers to have money in their pockets to carry out other economic activities,” Obwori noted.

The CEC pointed out the seedlings will be sold to the local farmers at a subsidized price of Sh.100 as opposed to the normal market price of Sh. 250.

He added that farmers outside the county will be allowed to buy the seedlings at Sh. 150.

Mr. Obwori said that every ward had been allocated 4000 seedlings and the county had assigned officers to collect data of farmers interested in purchasing the Hass avocado fruit seedlings.

The CEC affirmed that several farmers had expressed interest in growing Hass avocado for its financial benefits and the county was conducting training on how to plant the seedlings in order to get productive yields.

According to Obwori, the Hass avocado fruit seedlings are mature and ready for transplanting and had been certified by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and other Agriculture and Food Authorization (AFA) organizations.

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The distribution of the Hass avocado seedlings is in line with Kisii Governor Simba Arati’s promise to invest in the agriculture sector with the aim of supporting the livelihoods of the residents.

Governor Arati pledged to set up a bulk nursery for avocado and banana seedlings at the ATC to ensure the availability of quality planting materials to farmers at subsidized rates.

According to a market survey by the Agriculture Sector Development Support Programme (2014), there are 809,049 avocado trees in Kisii, where 641,746 are of Jumbo variety and 161,936 are of Hass variety.

The survey also revealed that the current production per avocado tree is 1,000 fruits and the tree produces at least 300 kilograms of avocados per year, with each avocado weighing 300 grams.

By Mercy Osongo 

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