Tanzania’s avocados fetch premium price in Europe with one fruit selling for more than Sh10,000 in Belgian markets.
This was said by Tanzania’s ambassador to Belgium, Jestas Nyamanga who encouraged local farmers to sell their avocados to European markets due to the lucrative prices that they fetch.
“One avocado is sold for €4 which is more than Sh10, 000 while at home (Tanzania) you can buy avocado at price of Sh500 or Sh1, 000, so now you can see if you export it here you can get a huge profit,” the envoy said.
Popular avocado varieties produced in Tanzania are Hass, Fuerte, Pinkerton, and, to some extent, Puebla, however the Hass variety is the most popular in European markets.
The diplomat was speaking live while addressing the journalist through a virtual meeting from Brussels Belgium.
Commercial production of avocados is dominated by Rungwe Avocado Company Ltd and Africado Ltd, which is based in Siha District, Kilimanjaro region. The two companies jointly produce more than 5,000 tonnes per year.
The rest of the growers are smallholder farmers who own a couple to hundreds of avocado trees around their homesteads and in distant farms.
The Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA) estimates that the country’s avocado exports reached 11,237 tonnes, or 510 containers worth $33 million in 2021. This is 12.6 percent more compared to 2020 sales.
According to the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), in 2018 Tanzania exported 7,551 tons with a total value of USD 8.5 million to Europe, Africa, and Asia.
TAHA projects that Tanzania will export 15,000 tonnes in 2023, thus generating $45 million in foreign currency.
Apart from Belgium, other markets with large untapped export potential include Japan, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, and China, while the potential to export avocado to Africa remains very small.
Tanzania’s prominent avocado-producing regions are Mbeya, Njombe, Songwe, and Iringa in the southwest, as well as in Kilimanjaro, Arusha, and Tanga in the northeast of the country, where coffee and tea were once the predominant crop.
According to the diplomat, between January and May, 2022 Tanzania’s export to Belgium reached €81.6 million whereas Belgium’s exports to Tanzania stood at €75.2million during the same period.
However, he said there is opportunity for this year Tanzania export to Belgium to exceed last year’s volumes which was only €85 million.