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Lango Embraces Hass Avocado

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Solomon Okabo

Members of Abulomogo Maize Farmers’ SACCO have signed a memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lango Hass Avocado, a non-governmental organisation implementing the growing of Hass Avocado in the sub-region.

Formerly called Arocha Farmers’ group, the SACCO, which was formed in 2008, is located in Kidilani parish, Chegere sub—county, in Apac district.

Hass avocado is the most popular East Africa avocado for export and enjoys a good market in Europe as compared to the other varieties.

It is rich in proteins and other mineral contents. It is also used in cosmetics, for example, in the manufacture of facial and hair oil, according to experts.

A total of 2,500 members of Abulomogo Maize Farmers’ SACCO, from Kwania, Apac, Lira, Kole and Dokolo districts have entered the agreement to grow Hass avocado on a large scale for export with the aim of boosting farmer incomes.

The 10-year project will see Lango Hass Avocado distribute 400 seedlings per acre to each SACCO member at a cost of sh400,000.

This will be paid in installments. According to the MOU, the organisation will then buy the output from the farmers at sh20,000 per kilogramme. A farmer is expected to harvest 87,780 fruits per acre, approximately between 2,500kg and 3,000kg.

However, the yield depends on several factors, such as proper pest and disease control, plant density and soil fertility.

Sam Ongebo, the coordinator of Lango Hass Avocado, says harvesting the fruit, which goes for over 15 years, can start one year after planting, implying that a farmer can get between sh20m and sh30m yearly from just an acre.

“Hass avocados is mostly harvested between June and September. It is important to know how to identify the correct harvesting period because avocados are harvested raw and ripen off the tree. Harvest a few fruits and keep them in favourable conditions to ripen,” he said.

Ongebo said they have started conducting trainings on how to grow the crop, asking farmers to grow hass avocados to not only improve their livelihoods, but also fight diseases.

Nelson Adeka, the chairperson of Abulomogo, is optimistic the development will boost members’ savings and in turn increase their loan portfolio from sh560m to an estimated sh3b.

“I call on farmers to address the issue of poor-quality harvest by planting their seedlings in time and dealing with post-harvest handling challenges in order to boost the marketability of their produce,” he said.

Hass avocado is one of the strategic crop commodities the agriculture ministry has prioritised in its strategic plan to increase food, nutrition, income security and exports.

Currently, About 15,000 farmers in the Lango have registered to grow the crop

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