Rwathia Agrofarm is a social horticultural, farming, processing and exporting company incorporated in Kenya. Our main products are fresh/frozen avocados, mango and fresh herbs. In addition, the company would offer technical support services and inputs to farmers as credit recoverable from produce supplied. Africa is home to 60% of the world’s arable land. The Company is named after Rwathia village in Murang’a County where avocados were first introduced in Kenya. Murang’a is the biggest producer of avocados in Kenya.
Avocado is quickly becoming one of the main commercial crops in Kenya. The tree bearing pear-shaped fruits – originally from Central and South America – now dots many homesteads and farms in the highlands of Kenya, as the humid tropical climate in the area provides ideal growing conditions for avocados to thrive. The varieties commonly grown in the area include Hass, Fuertes, Pinkerton, and Puebla. The main season for the fruit is from March to September, with the off-season from October to February, allowing farmers to harvest all year round. In Kenya, the popularity of growing avocados has grown, attracting many farmers to venture into production. There are large markets in the European Union, China, and Middle East, and the fruit’s health benefits – and wide application in the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries – is contributing to increased consumption both locally and abroad. Yet despite these opportunities, local farmers have limited knowledge on climate-smart agriculture practices for avocado growing, or information related to handling and marketing, and this has affected the sustainability of their livelihoods.
It has become critical to build the capacity of avocado farmers to enable them to adjust their management practices, to overcome production-related challenges brought on by climate change, and contribute towards improved farm-level climate adaptation, household food security, and nutrition – as well as sustainable livelihoods. Consumers are also becoming more conscious of safely produced fruits, – hence the need for avocado farmers to adopt practices that are health and environmentally friendly to remain viable.
Adjusting management practices is key to overcome production-related challenges such as water unavailability, weeds, pests and diseases brought by climate change. Avocado farming is considered lucrative as the trees are now found in many homesteads and farms in the highlands of Kenya.
The potential of fruit trees to optimize the combined benefits of livelihoods, food security, nutrition and climate mitigation and adaptation is promising and huge. Our out growers project is getting into aggregating 3000 small scale farmers in various registered groups in the larger Lakipia county. (We have established our Organic Hass Avocados model farm on our 4 Acres Farm at Rwathia Farm –Nyahururu).