The horticulture regulator has banned the export of two popular avocado varieties to curb harvesting of immature crop.

Head of Horticulture Directorate Benjamin Tito said the ban on Fuerte and Hass varieties will apply from today, but farmers are free to export the less popular Jumbo type.

โ€œWe have stopped export of avocado starting today to allow the current crop that is in the farm to mature and protect our overseas market,โ€ said Mr Tito.

Mr Tito said exporters of the Jumbo variety will only do it by air and not sea with the size expected to be at least 184 grammes for a single fruit.

โ€œUsing sea would require one to fill a container and we think there isnโ€™t that enough volumes to fill,โ€ he said.

The ban follows rampant cases of traders picking young crops, encouraged by high prices of the commodity at the international market.

Avocado has been a major contributor of the income from the horticulture earnings, raking in nearly half of the total returns from fruits.

The avocado season for these main varieties has come to an end resulting to a shortage of the fruit in the country, a move that will push up the cost of the commodity.

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