Farmers in Rombo venture into avocado farming to earn more

24Nov 2021
The Guardian
Farmers in Rombo venture into avocado farming to earn more

​​​​​​​SOME farmers in Rombo District, Kilimanjaro Region have started venturing into avocado farming, which they said is paying more and less expensive to maintain.

An avocado tree.

In separate interviews, farmers said that after being briefed on the opportunities available in the avocado crop, and started venturing into the green crop.

One of the farmers in the district, Wilbard Shirima, said he took over much of the coffee farm and changed the crops his parents were cultivating and started cultivating avocados, next year which he expects 100 percent in profit from such farming.

Shirima said he has had indigenous avocado trees that were not for commercial purposes, and now that he has been provided with free avocado seedlings by the Matonyok Organization, he will be able to grow commercial avocado and his market is huge which will boost his economy.

"In the past, I used to be involved in coffee farming, but now I have decided to give up, as it has a lot of problems with access to inputs, but after seeing on television people who grow avocados are very successful and I decided to focus on farming avocado, "said Shirima.

He said coffee completely failed him to continue growing it because it has serious problems until he gets his money and the price you are given in the market still does not meet the need to sustain family requirements.

"For coffee, until you reach the point of selling it at the market, you have spent a lot of money, including medical costs, cutting branches, peeling, drying it, analyzing it, and then taking it to the cooperative union. You find the money you are paid is not profitable," said Shirima.

He explained that he had been growing coffee for more than 10 years but his success was seen as a loss.

He said he has now planted about 300 avocado seedlings on a five-acre farm, after receiving seedlings from the Matonyok Organization.

Godfrey Peter, the avocado farmer from Kikelelwa village in Tarakea Motamburu Ward, said since he started planting avocado seedlings his income has increased and he is able to educate his children, which is why he has seen the need to continue cultivating the crop.

"I have been growing coffee for more than eight years, but I have decided to give it up completely because the cost of keeping the coffee is high, compared to the sales you sell you are not making a profit, so I decided to give it up and go for avocados," he added.

Godfrey said after seeing the benefits he was encouraged to directly grow avocado seedlings brought by the Matonyok Organization project, where he has now grown more than 700 seedlings on his 10-acre farm.

For his part, Rombo district commissioner Colonel Hamisi Maiga thanked the Matonyok Organization for providing the modern apricot crop with the people of the district, where he believes what they will get is an alternative to what they had been hoping for in the past. Economic empowerment.

Maiga said the government is committed to improving the cultivation of avocados as the value and demand for the export crop has been high and called on the people to use the opportunity to start cultivating avocados which also cares for the environment.

Tarakea Ward Councilor Motamburu Felichemi Oisso also praised the Matonyok Organization for bringing together about 200 smallholder farmers, including women and men, the majority of whom are young, who have already set up planting avocado seedlings.

For his part, Matonyok Organization Director-General Alais Lenana Momoi, said the avocado crop even if the farmer has a few crops is guaranteed to harvest every year and over the years the income of avocado fruit increases.

Coffee is in danger of further decline due to the deliberate efforts of avocado growers to encourage coffee growers to invest in avocado due to its convenience as well as a good and productive market for the farmer.

It is reported that so far the production of coffee in Kilimanjaro Region is only 3,000 tons according to the statistics for the 2018/2019 season with the production expected to decline further due to many problems including high production costs, a situation that brings the farmer a small profit.