- Kenya is the biggest exporter of avocados on African continent, however, the theft is hampering the industry
- The country is also the world’s third-largest producer of the delicious fruit, which has become popular throughout the globe
- Theft of avocados is a huge problem, and since the pandemic, the illegal trade of the fruit has increased
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KENYA - South Africa is no longer Africa’s largest exporter of avocados. The top spot belongs to Kenya, and the billion-dollar industry has seen significant interest from international countries.
Kenya is also the world’s third-largest producer of avocados; however, local farmers have had a constant battle with thieves.
A farmer from Central Kenya, Mary Gitau, who is forced to patrol her farm with a machete, said her avocados had been stolen on countless occasions. According to SABC News, the 70-year-old woman said the trees were meant to benefit her in her old age, but she has not gained anything.
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Murang’a county is currently Kenya’s top producer of avocados. Theft in the industry is a huge problem, and since the pandemic, the illegal trade of avocados has increased. General Manager of Richbok farm Richardt Bouwer told Business Insider SA that there are many signs to tell if avocados have been stolen.
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He said the most prominent sign is if they are ridiculously cheap. Bouwer said stolen avocados won’t ripen but will somewhat shrink instead. He added that the stems of stolen fruit are often broken off.
SA avocado farmers stand to lose millions as they grapple with theft of the popular fruit
In a related matter, Briefly News also reported South African avocado farmers are battling the scourge of theft of one of the country’s most popular fruit. Avocados have been gaining popularity in the last few years and the rise in demand for the delicious fruit has led to people ripping off hardworking farmers.
According to IOL, avocado farmers can lose up to R24 million annually due to continued theft of their produce.
Source: Briefly News