Avocado Production

1

Avocado

Botanical Name: Persea americana (M)

Suitable varieties: Fuerte, Lula, Pollock

Source of planting material: ARC Kade, CRI Fumesua, PGRRI, Bunso, Reputable nurseries.

Climatic Requirement: Avocado thrives best in relatively high humidity and warm temperatures. It requires a well distributed annual rainfall of not less than 1000mm. However a pronounced dry season is needed to induce effective flowering. The forest areas of Ghana are most suited for production.

Site Selection: Avocado can be grown on a range of soil types and requires good drainage. It is very sensitive to water-logging and saline conditions. The wood is soft brittle and liable to wind damage therefore avoid windy areas.

Land Preparation: A thorough land preparation is important. Clear the land, stump, plough and peg.

Planting: Avocados are preferably grown from grafted or budded planting materials (seedlings) to ensure uniformity and early bearing. Seedlings are planted at the onset of rains while there is an adequate supply of moisture for quick establishment.

Dig planting holes the size that would accommodate the plant in the bag at a distance of 7-13 m2. Well-decomposed manure (1kg) and/or phosphate fertilizer (30g/plant) should be placed in the dug hole. Remove plastic bag carefully to keep the rootball intact and place the plants in the holes. The young avocado plants may be intercropped with legumes. Depending on the planting distance used, 60 (13m2)-205(7m2) seedlings will plant 1 ha.

Irrigation: Adequate water supply should be provided during dry periods for good growth and development.

Fertilizer Application: Commence feeding of young trees after one year of growth, using 20-50g NPK 15-15-15, four times yearly. Older trees benefit from feeding with 200g NPK 15-15-15 at the beginning of each wet season. Application of foliar fertilizers further enhances growth.

Pruning and Fruit Thinning: Prune trees and cut out dead wood after harvest. Thin fruits in boom years to control biennial bearing and enhance fruit quality in early stages.

Weed control: Apply selective herbicide or slash to control weeds. Shallow weeding is encouraged, as roots are closer to the soil surface.

Pest Control: Pest includes: Mealy bugs, mites and scale insects. They can be controlled by spraying recommended insecticides.

Disease Control:

Root rot caused by Phytophthora cinnamon attack and kill trees and should be controlled by drenching the soil with recommended fungicide.

Cercospora spot (Cercospora purpurea), Black spot (Colletotricum gloeosporioides) all of which attack the leaves, roots and fruits. They can be controlled by spraying copper fungicides.

Harvesting: Mature avocado fruits do not ripen until harvested. The longer the fruit remain on the tree the faster it will ripen after harvest. Maturity is indicated when the part of the fruit stalk closest to the fruit turns black or brown. Manual clipping is the main harvesting method for avocado. Harvesting can also be done by pulling or snapping.

Yield: Average yield of 14 tonnes/ha can be obtained.

Postharvest Handling: Trim, clean, sort, grade and wax fruits. Pack into cartons with good ventilation for transportation.

Operational budget/Ha

Year 1

Land Rent

Land Preparation

Seedlings

Fertilizer

Pesticides

Irrigation

Labour

Sub-total

Cost (GHc)

300.00

200.00

408.00

33.00

35.00

540.00

300.00

1816.00

Year 2

Land Rent

Fertilizer

Pesticides

Irrigation

Labour

Sub-total

 

300.00

22.00

35.00

540.00

200.00

1097.00

Year 3

Land Rent

Fertilizer

Pesticides

Irrigation

Labour

Sub-total

 

300.00

22.00

35.00

540.00

200.00

1097.00

Year 4

Land Rent

Fertilizer

Pesticides

Irrigation

Labour

Sub-total

 

300.00

22.00

35.00

540.00

200.00

1097.00

Year 5

Land Rent

Fertilizer

Pesticides

Irrigation

Labour

Sub-total

 

300.00

22.00

35.00

540.00

200.00

1097.00

TOTAL 6204.00

 

 

Revenue

Average fruit yield/ha= 14tonnes= 14000kg

Percentage loss= 5%

Available yield= 95% x 14000= 13300

Farm gate price= GHc 0.5/kg

Income per year= 13300×0.5= GHc6650

Income for 4th and 5th years= 2x 6650

=GHc 13300

Net income after 5th year = 13300-6204

=GHc 7096

1 Hectare= 2.5 Acres

 

Note: This does not include fixed costs and overheads

For further information contact:

The Regional/District Director of

Agricultural Services in your area

Issued by

The Horticulture Development Unit,

Directorate of Crop Service,

Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Accra

©2008

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