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Avocado (Persea americana) is a tree, long thought to have originated in South Central Mexico. The fruit of the plant, also called an avocado (or avocado pear or alligator pear), is botanically a large berry containing a single large seed known as a “pit” or a “stone”. Avocados like most nutritious fruits are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. The optimum soil pH for avocado is between 6.2 and 6.5 lime. The International Trade Centre, Tanzania has seen exports grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 35%, from 2013 to 2017, to approximately 4.4 thousand metric tons in 2017 from 1.4 thousand metric tons in 2013.
In Tanzania, Avocado production is increasingly gaining popularity with new farms opening up in many parts of the country. Regions such as Njombe, Iringa, Geita and even Kagera have recorded increases in planted areas with the high yielding; export market-oriented variety – Hass and Fuerte. Other regions where Avocado is grown are Arusha, Morogoro, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, Songwe and Ruvuma. There is huge demand of Avocado in the World market making the product a potential significant contributor to foreign exchange earnings and government revenue if harnessed well. Apart from increased export volume, there is also an appetite of investment in the value addition for Avocado. The Ihemi Cluster already has two avocado processing factories – Zalacado in Iringa and Olivado in Njombe.