East Welega Zone Farmers Benefit from Producing Avocado for Foreign Markets

Farmers in various Woredas of the East Welega Zone in the Oromia region have been benefiting from producing avocados for foreign markets.

Since the past few years, efforts have been exerted across Ethiopia to transform the agricultural development with a view to ensuring food self-sufficient and strengthen the potential of the sector to export trade by increasing productivity with diverse products.

The development initiative designed mainly for avocados, bananas, and papayas in Oromia is benefiting the farmers.

The production of high-quality avocado is particularly making the farmers competitive in foreign markets and benefiting them.

As the East Welega Zone is endowed with suitable agro-ecological environment for improved avocado production, effective work was done with the best seedlings distribution to farmers there in the past few years.

East Welega Zone Agriculture Office Coffee and Fruits Work Group Head, Asefa Mekonen said hybrid avocado seedlings have been distributed to the farmers and were being planted since 2016.

As a result of the assistance and mentorship provided to the farmers during that period, the farmers, communities and government had been able to benefit from the sales of the produces, he said.

The head revealed that the cultivation of avocados in cluster is being supplied to local and foreign markets through the Lume Avocado Product Exporters in East Shoa Zone.

According to him, 3,500 residents have benefited directly.

Besides the avocado produces supplied to domestic market, Asefa pointed out that 600 quintals of avocados have been exported every year from the 1,279 hectares of land covered with avocado production in the zone.

During this Ethiopian agricultural season, 120,000 more avocado seedlings with better seeds were planted in the zone, according to the head.

Sima Geleta in Gudeya Bila Woreda of that zone is one of the farmers, who exported his avocado products for two consecutive years to foreign markets.

Sima explained that when one kilo of avocado was being sold for 15 Birr in the local market, the farmers were able to make a profit by selling one kilo for 40 to 45 birr in export.

Geremu Amente, on his part, said he joined the market by obtaining a better yield from 24 avocado trees and praised the government for the works it is doing to improve the lives of the farmers.

Calling on the government to strengthen the support, he recalled that the farmers were able to earn over 90,000 birr for supplying two quintals of avocados in the last production year.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency