Avocado Production and Local Trade in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania: A Case of an Emerging Trade Commodity from Horticulture
Authors: Juma, I.; Fors, H.; Hovmalm, H.P.; Nyomora, A.; Faith, M.; Geleta, M.; Carlsson, A.; Ortiz, R.O.
Avocado crop in Tanzania is sparingly investigated regardless of being an important fruit commodity. This study was undertaken to explore the yield and the value chain of this crop in the country. Data were collected mainly by face-to-face interviews with 275 avocado farmers, 231 avocado traders and 16 key informants. Descriptive statistics, Chi-square test and one-way analysis of variance were used for data analysis. The average crop yield ranged from 76 to 124 kg plant between regions. The average price for the farmers produce ranged from US$ 0.30 to 0.45 kg between regions. About 72% of the farmers were dissatisfied with avocado business whereas 79% of the traders were pleased with it. A number of challenges were found hindering the development of the avocado industry in Tanzania, which in turn affects the fruit yield and the value chain. Addressing these challenges at the national, regional, district and village levels is important for improving the livelihood of Tanzanian farmers growing this crop, given the fact that a good proportion of the country population is employed in the agricultural sector and most of the reported challenges also affect the value chain of other crops.