-KH News Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org)
As they expand into fresh produce, the multi-billion dollar Rai family has extended their ties to Kenya’s agriculture and horticulture industries by expanding their empire to include avocado cultivation at Menengai Orchards in Nakuru County.
Businessman Jaswant Rai’s Menengai is one among the fresh fruit companies targeting the lucrative Chinese market after Kenya was granted permission to sell fresh avocados to the Asian country last year.
The farm now grows food on 380 acres, with a long-term goal of increasing the area to over 600 acres by the following year.
“We are planning to expand our farm in coming years and we are also looking at incorporating the local community in planting the avocado for export,” said David Jean Louis, a manager at Menengai Orchards.
As an established orchard, he noted that they are sensitizing small-scale farmers on the best practices in growing the avocado so that they can be part of the larger organization growing the fruit.
The firm is eager to increase the area under production, according to Mr. Louis, who also noted that everyone is looking for the fruits due to the increased demand for Kenyan avocados and the development of new markets.
According to data from Kenya’s Horticultural Crops Directorate, since August, Kenya has exported more than 2 million kilogrammes of avocados to China, underscoring the significance of the Asian market.
According to Newton Maina, sales and marketing manager for the Avocado Society of Kenya, market participants have signed contracts with Chinese wholesalers and retailers because they are confident in the expanding market that China’s enormous population will give.
The agreements, in Maina’s opinion, will boost the Kenyan avocado market by significantly raising farmers’ income.