Avocado Growing In Uganda

Locally known as Ova, the Ugandan Avocados are diverse when it comes to size, variety, flavour, colour and shape. They come in oval, pear, elongated and round shapes and this is how they are distinguished from each other. The skin and the flavour depend on the variety of the avocado planted and the colour ranges from dark purple, green and almost black.

They are grown in the different parts of the country majorly on a small scale however there has been an introduction of avocado farms to increase the production of the fruits so that some of them are exported to different countries across the world. Avocados are a source of vitamins E, C, A, and K, potassium and folic acid. Their leaves are also used for medicinal purposes by most of the locals across the country to treat different ailments.

avocado farming uganda

Avocado varieties in Uganda

Hass Avocado

The most commonly grown type of Avocado in Uganda is the Hass Avocado which can be found in different parts of the country. Hass Avocado is produced throughout the year, high in fat and has a rough texture.

Other species that are grown in the country, although on a small scale, include shepherd, Hall, semil, Boss six and pinkaton.

Avocado Diseases and pests

The most common pests and diseases that affect avocados include fruit spot, leaf rot, bugs, caterpillars, scales, root rot and mites. The best way to avoid the above is by using crop rotation, spraying insecticides and pesticides.

  • Scab, this mainly attacks the fruits and leaves. Causing dark oval spots to appear on the affected part.

  • Anthracnose, it mainly attacks the mature avocados and it causes dry dark spots on them. It is best controlled through spraying with fungicides.

  • Root rot affects the plants that are found in areas that are poorly drained and the best way to prevent this is by using chemicals and also hot water treatment of the seed before planting.

Planting avocados

Avocados can be grown either from avocado seedlings or seeds. For the past few years, there has been an increase in grafting the avocado trees and this has greatly improved the avocado yields on the market. The seeds and seedlings that are to be used for planting should first be thoroughly checked to ensure that they are free from diseases. Both the seeds and seedlings are first planted in the nursery and they can only be transplanted to the main garden after 6 months.

You need to plant the avocado trees in a straight line so that it is easy for crop rotation to be carried out and it also helps with easy pruning and thinning. The tree spacing ranges from 7 to 8 to 10m apart but it normally depends on the fertility of the soil and many more other factors like weather. The holes where you are planning on planting the avocado trees should be at least 70cm deep and with the spacing, it helps the trees get enough nutrients from the soil for proper growth.

When it comes to manure, make sure that you try to apply urea and other fertilizers available at least every 3 to 4 months. Weeding can also be done both manually and mechanically and it should be carried out earlier on when the trees are still young. You can also spray pesticides to prevent pests like bugs and caterpillars among others.

Pruning should only be done if the trees have extra branches although this might not be possible since most of the avocado trees grow with straight and well-arranged branches.

avocado growing uganda

Harvesting of avocados

Avocado trees reach maturity at around 5 to 6 years for the local breed and for those that have been grafted it takes three years to reach maturity and harvest. After harvesting, you need to keep them for about 5 to 10 days in order for them to become soft and avoid using sharp objects while harvesting as they cause damage to the fruits.

Market for the fruits

There is an available market for avocados and this is in the form of market vendors, fruit sellers, cosmetic companies and you might as well export them to different countries. And with avocado farming, you will be able to get back all the money invested and much more especially if they are well taken care of.

Reasons as to why you should venture into the avocado growing

  • Avocado trees can be grown anywhere and both on a small or on a large scale.

  • They reduce cholesterol because they are high in monounsaturated fat.

  • Avocados generate a high income and they need little or no supervision.

  • The start-up cost for avocado growing is very low.

  • It is also good for the eyes, hair and skin.

Avocado farming is the next big step that every farmer should invest in because it requires little capital and with the increase of grafting in the country, you do not need to wait for the whole year in order for you to get harvest. At the moment an avocado costs between shs500 and shs2000 depending on where you are buying it from and the type.