Joyce Kamau, a Kenyan farmer, has found success in her avocado farming venture that she started in 2018. Despite facing challenges during her first harvest in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Joyce persevered and eventually found success in August 2021 when Kenya started exporting avocados to China.
Joyce’s first harvest took 2.5 years to reach full maturity and although the pandemic hindered her ability to export the avocados overseas, she still managed to sell them to local buyers at a reduced price. However, as Kenya began exporting avocados to China, Joyce’s fortunes changed and she saw an increase in the price of avocados among local exporters, selling 1 kg for as much as 37.36 Kenyan Shillings.
To enhance her bargaining power in the international market, Joyce joined the Avocado Society of Kenya (ASK). Through her membership with ASK, she is able to supply local companies who export avocados to China, allowing her to make up to two million Kenyan Shillings in a year.
The Sales and Marketing Manager of the Avocado Society of Kenya, Newton Maina, revealed that Kenya exported Ksh6.7 billion worth of fresh and frozen avocados to China in 2022 and they expect to double these exports this year. With the start of the season in March 2023, they are optimistic that the figure will continue to double.
In conclusion, Joyce Kamau’s journey as an avocado farmer highlights the importance of perseverance and joining organizations to enhance bargaining power in the international market. Despite the challenges faced during her first harvest, she was able to overcome them and find success in her venture.