Avocado is cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical regions from 40° N and
40° S. It is unique among fruit trees in that it is neither sweet nor acidic
but of bland nature with a remarkably high nutritional density. It contains
15-30% oil, similar in composition to olive oil, eleven vitamins (vit A, B6,
B12, K, C, E, Folacin, Niacin etc
) and fourteen minerals. The calorific
value is exceptionally high, 123-387 gmcal/100 g edible avocado and has low
sugar content. Avocados are eaten in fresh, Salads with lemon juice salt etc.
Avocado is a complete food in terms of protein containing nine essential amino
acids although not in proportion. It can almost substitute butter and meat and
is called in many countries as poor mans butter. Further it has several uses;
as a natural cosmetic, with advantage in rapid skin penetration and as a superior
natural sunscreen (Bose and Mitra, 1996). In skin care,
the two major advantages of the avocado are its marked softening and soothing
nature and its notable absorption. Compared with almond, corn, olive and soybean
oils, avocado oil had the highest skin penetration rate (Swisher,
1988). Eating avocado has also been shown to be fully compatible with good
weight control. This insight was expressed years ago by Wood
(1983) in a book hailed by one health magazine as the finest method for
weight reduction known to them. Wood emphasized playful exercise, but his introduction
begins: The solution to our national overweight problem is to encourage people
to eat more. He counseled eating fresh plant food heartily. And his recommended
list of ingredients for a healthy diet included the avocado Furthermore A 40%
reduction in stroke risk was associated with an average daily increase in potassium
consumption of about 400 mg, the amount supplied by less than half an avocado
(Smith et al., 1983).
Avocado market, driven by global retail players, will continue to grow steadily.
The production will reach 4.7 MTon in 2012. The estimate of the global avocado
market in 2012 is about $7.5 bln in retail prices. The top avocado producers
are Mexico, Indonesia and U.S. with Chile steadily approaching to key player
position. Growing demand of the domestic market will force U.S. avocado growers
to abandon completely avocado exports in favor of local retailers. Leading exporters
are Mexico and Chile with Israel facing hard competition on European markets
from Spain and South Africa (Market Research Analyst, 2008).
Private orchard owners in Hirna and wondo-Genet first introduced Avocado to
Ethiopia in 1938. Gradually, its cultivation spread nation-wide with satisfactory
adoption to different agro-ecologies. Most wet parts of Ethiopia provide favorable
weather condition for avocado cultivation (Etissa, 1999).
Despite the favorable weather condition, Avocado was unknown to both producers
and consumers in southwestern Ethiopia before two decades. In 1979, a collection
orchard was established by planting few collections. When these trees started
bearing, more seeds were planted to promote genetic recombination. That was
how utilization of avocado fruits started in Jima Metu, Gera, Tepi and Bebeka
area. Presently there is a great demand for avocado in Southwestern Ethiopia
(Etissa, 1999). Its introduction and dissemination has
contributed a lot in income generation and employment creation to the farming
society. It has also become greater source of income for traders, private business
institutions, governmental and non-governmental organizations. As a result,
the production and area coverage of this fruit has now moved from nearly nothing
to a significant level. The annual report of Jima Beauro
of Agriculture (2000) indicated that avocado has now occupied 75% of fruit
farmland in the area. In line with this, Jimma Agricultural Research Center
(JARC) has taken responsibility to introduce and disseminate Avocado seedlings
to farmers dwell in and around the vicinity of Jimma zone. According to the
report of seed multiplication and center development section of Jima research
center, 283,000 seed and seedlings of avocado have been multiplied and distributed
to farmers and other stakeholders in and around the vicinity of Jima zone (Jima
Agricultural Research Centre, 2004).
Hence, in order to understand and explain such agricultural transformation,
it is vital to know the extent of diffusion, channel of diffusion and the reason
for the rapid dissemination of this horticultural crop. However, no study has
been made in the past to deal with such basic information. To this end, this
study helps to give baseline information about the extent and mechanism of diffusion
and point out problems and potentials associated with the dissemination of avocado.
The objectives of study were:
||To examine the production, marketing and consumption of avocado
in Southwestern Ethiopia
||To explain problems and potentials associated with the production and
marketing of avocado
||To investigate its importance in the socioeconomic life of the community
MATERIALS AND METHODS
This study was conducted starting from September 2005 up to September 2006
in the four major avocado growing weredas (districts) of Jima and Illubabor
Zone of South western Ethiopia. These are Mana, Goma, Seka and Metu. The following
map shows the two zones of southwestern Ethiopia where the four major selected
avocado growing districts are located.
||Mana is one of the 180 weredas (districts) of oromia region
of Ethiopia. Mana is bordered on the south by Seka Chekorsa, on the west
by Goma, on the north by Limu Kosa and on the east by Kersa. Based on the
figure published by Central Statistical Agency in 2005, this woreda has
an estimated total population of 160,096, of whom 80,481 are men and 79,615
are women; 5,471 or 3.42% of its population are urban dwellers, which is
less than the Zone average of 12.3%. With an estimated area of 478.91 square
kilometers, Mana has an estimated population density of 334.3 people per
square kilometer, which is greater than the Zone average of 150.6
||Goma is one of the 13 weredas in Jima zone known for predominantly Growing
coffee. It is located 390 km south west of Addis Ababa and about 50 km west
of the Jima Zone capital (Jima). There are 36 peasant associations and 3
towns associations The number of agricultural households in the wereda
is 45,567 (35,533 male headed and 10,034 female headed), while the total
population of the wereda was 247,326 in 2006/07. Goma is the second most
densely populated wereda in the zone with a size of 93,657.72 ha, excluding
the state coffee farms. The two farms, Goma I and Goma II, have a total
area of 2704 ha. Hence the total area of the wereda is 96,361.72 ha (96.4
||Seka is one of the 180 weredas of oromia region of Ethiopia. The altitude
of this woreda ranges from 1580 to 2560 m above sea level; perennial rivers
include the Abono, Anja, Gulufa and Meti. A survey of the land in this woreda
shows that 45.3% is arable or cultivable 44.9% was under annual crops, 6.1%
pasture, 25.8% forest and the remaining 22.8% is considered swampy, degraded
or otherwise unusable
||Metu is one of the 180 weredas of oromia region of Ethiopia. Metu is bordered
on the south by Ale, on the southwest by Bure, on the west by the west wellega,
on the north by Darimu, on the northeast by Supena Sodo,and on the east
by Yayu. This woreda has an estimated total population of 154,927, of whom
77,565 are men and 77,362 are women; 38,217 or 24.67% of its population
are urban dwellers, which is greater than the Zone average of 12%. With
an estimated area of 1,461.41 square kilometers, Metu has an estimated population
density of 106 people per square kilometer, which is greater than the Zone
average of 72.3
Both primary and secondary types of data have been used to write this report.
More specifically, data on the level of production, consumption, value of sale
(income), costs of production and marketing of avocado at the producers, assemblers
and wholesalers level have been collected and utilized to produce this report.
Method of Data Collection
Exploratory/informal survey was first conducted to have a better insight
and identify the major area of concern. PRA tools such as Group discussion,
observations and semi-structured interview of key informants have been employed
as tools for generating information during this survey.
The subsequent survey (formal survey) was then undertaken by using multi stage purposive sampling. That is, based on volume of production and marketing; two zones, namely Jima and Illuababora have been selected. Three weredas/districts from Jima and one wereda/district from Illuababora zone were then selected. A further selection of two PAs from each wereda/district was also made by considering the same criteria which were used to select the zones and weredas/districts. Finally 30 avocado producing households were selected from each PAs as samples and were interviewed by using a structured questionnaire. This sample size was assumed to be representative due to the fact that it has been taken from a relatively small size of household population. In addition samples taken by using purposive sampling are said to be more representative even if the sample size is kept small as compared with random sampling.
Secondary information was also collected through extensive formal and informal interaction with wereda agricultural beauro and Jima Agricultural Research Centre.
Method of Data Analysis
Descriptive statistics such as mean and frequencies were used to characterize
the existing avocado production and marketing in the areas. Net benefit analysis
has also been employed to investigate the socioeconomic importance of this crop
among the producers and other market participants in the market chain. Furthermore
margin analysis was used to calculate the profit margin that each market participant
takes from the total consumers price
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
This survey has been conducted in the four major Avocado growing weredas of Jimma and Illubabor zone. Namely Metu,Goma,Mana and Seka. More than 100 farmers have been purposively interviewed about avocado production and marketing in these weredas using a structured questionnaire. The result showed that avocado is playing a pivotal role in the socioeconomic life of the farmers by giving a yield up to 1200 kg per tree. The statistics also depicted that the average maximum and minimum value of sale of avocado by an individual farmers in a year is 2951.42 and 1271.74 birr, respectively and the average consumption level per household was found to be 22% of the total production in one production season. Detailed analysis of the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of avocado growing farmers together with the production and marketing system are presented below.
Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics
The demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of avocado growing farmers
in each wereda are presented in the Table 1.
The result from Table 1 indicates that the age of avocado growing farmers (45.85 years in Metu,46.33 years in Goma,52.14 years in Mana and 42.45 years in Seka) and their farming experience ( 21.21 years in metu, 23.96 in Goma, 28.86 in Mana and 22.17 in Seka) are similar in all the surveyed weredas showing that this economically important fruit is largely produced by elder farmers and hence this calls for the need to popularize and disseminate avocado for young farmers with minimum years of farming experience.
With regard to land ownership, Table 1 shows that there is almost a similar size of land holding by the sampled farmers, the average ranging from 2.18 to 2.78 ha in the four surveyed wereda of Jimma and Illubabor zone.
|| Demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of avocado
|Survey result 2005/2006
Table 1 also shows that 51.9, 47.8 and 41.4% of farmers have attended elementary education in Metu, Goma and Seka wereda respectively and this has contributed for the adoption of avocado production in the farming system. The statistics also show that most of avocado growers are farmers with no other occupation. Hence those farmers with other off-farm activities have to be encouraged to produce this economical viable horticultural crop. The larger percentage of native (Muslims) farmers producing avocado especially in Mana (72.6%) and Seka ( 80.6%) in Table 1 also calls for intensive work on popularization and dissemination of Avocado for settlers (Christians).
Dissemination of Avocado
Avocado was not known in southwestern part of the country before two decades.
But the effort made by Jima agricultural Research centre in multiplying and
distributing avocado seed/seedling brought a significant change in the production
and use of avocado in the area. Even if there were farmers who planted avocado
at the beginning of 1980s, most of them reported that they started to plant
avocado in the late 80s. Wereda beauro of Agriculture and NGOs were the
main channels to popularize and disseminate avocado from Jima Agricultural research
centre to the farmers. The survey result showed that Jima Agricultural research
centre by itself and through beauro of Agriculture and NGOs was the pioneer
organization to introduce and disseminate avocado planting material to the area.
According to the information obtained from wereda beauro of agriculture, the
total acreage of land covered by avocado in Mana and Seka wereda during the
survey year is 443.5 and 257 ha, respectively.
According to the result in Table 2, JARC by itself has dissiminated
avocado seed/seedling to 50, 27.3, 25 and 7.1% of the sampled households in
Seka, Mana, Goma and Metu, respectively. Furthermore, Beuro of Agriculture and
NGOs were used as channel by JARC to disseminate avocado as it is shown in Table
2.The large proportion of dissimination of avocado seed/seedling through
NGOs in Metu (28.6%) and Goma wereda (20.8%) as compared with the other two
weredas was due to the existence of Menschen fur Menschen and the ex-Norwegians
in the two weredas, respectively.
|| Farmers response on their initial source of seed/seedling
for avocado production
|Survey result 2005/2006
The large proportion of avocado seed/seedling dissimination by the JARC itself
in Seka was attributed to the relative nearness of the research centre to farmers
in the area. This suggests that the research and extension wing of the centre
should extend its dissimination and popularization activities even to a distant
places so as to avoid the loss of benefit that could have been obtained from
the production and sale of this fruit by those interested farmers when the intermediary
NGOs become non-functional in the area. The same result was obtained by a study
on status of avocado production in Kenya by Wasilwa et
al. (2004) and his group in 2004. According to this study, Kenya Agricultural
Research Institute played a pionner role in the introduction and dissemination
of avocado planting materials. The same type of study made on avocado production
in Thailand by Babpraserth and Subhadrabanhu (2000) revealed
that Pak Chong Research station and the Royal project foundation are the two
main sources of avocado seed/seedlings to farmers.
In addition to the effort of Jima Agricultural research centre, Markets (purchase from individuals) and cafeterias also took part in the dissemination of seed/seedlings of avocado.
Objective of Production
The result from Table 3 proved that the main objective
of Avocado production by the majority of the farmers (71.4% in Metu, 66.7% in
Goma, 81.8% in Mana and 59.4% in Seka) is for sale whereas a small proportion
of the sampled households (17.9% in Metu, 12.5% in Goma, 9.1% in Mana 12.5%
in Seka) reported that their motive of avocado production is for consumption.
However a significant number of sampled households in Goma (20.8%) and Seka
( 28.1%) also reported that they produce avocado for both sale and consumption.
Current Source and Type of Planting Material of Avocado
It is known that the nature of planting material largely influence the production
and productivity of a given crop. The following table illustrates the type and
use of planting material of avocado in the four surveyed weredas.
According to the result obtained in Table 4, the majority
of the farmers in Metu (53.6%) and Goma (70.8%) reported that they use seedlings
as a planting material whereas the majority of farmers in Mana area (52.4%)
reported that the use seed as their planting material for avocado. However the
majority of the farmers in Seka wereda (40.6%) use both seed and seedlings as
a planting material. A similar result was also obtained by a study made on avocado
production in Veitnam by Chau and Truyen (1999). The
study revealed that seedlings were the major and most popular planting materials
used by avocado producers like that of avocado producers in Metu and Goma area
of Southwestern Ethiopia. Even if Jima Agricultural Research Centre was the
first to introduce the planting materials, most of the avocado growing farmers
reported that they currently use their own planting material from their avocado
|| Objective of production
|Survey result 2005/2006
|| Type of planting materials currently used and farmers
|Survey result, 2005/2006
The result in Table 4 also shows that the majority of the
farmers (81.3% in Metu, 57.9% in Goma, 61.9% in Mana and 88.5% in Seka) use
seeds collected from the tree as a planting material rather than seeds fallen
on the ground. It was also found out that size is the major factor that farmers
consider in selecting the seed for their planting material as it was confirmed
by 66.7, 77.8, 90.5 and 72% of the household respondents in Metu, Goma, Mana
and Seka wereda respectively in Table 4. Hence research has
to consider size in developing variety for avocado.
Number of Avocado Trees Currently Owned and Output Produced
A number of Avocado seed/seedling can be planted by farmers to get more
output. But their survival rate can be affected by a number of factors. Hence
what matters is not the number planted but number of tree that are productive
(fruit bearing trees) in the farmers field.
According to the survey result, the average number of fruit bearing avocado trees owned by individual farmers is 8.11. A study made on the status of avocado production in Kenya by Wasilwa et al., 2004 indicated that the number of mature and fruit bearing avocado trees owned by a producer ranges between 11 and 33. This large difference in the number of matured fruit bearing trees as compared with avocado producers in southwestern Ethiopia is largely attributed to the leading position of Kenya in exporting Avocado to the EU market which is largely produced by smallholder farmers. The following table illustrates the current status of avocado tree population by the overall sampled farmers.
According to the result shown in the Table 5, the average
no of trees owned by individual farmers is 37.05. Out of this, the average no
of avocado trees died at juvelline and maturity stage is 4.75 and 2.13, respectively.
|| No of avocado trees owned by farmers
|Survey result 2005/2006
|| Avocado production at the time of good harvest
|Calculated from survey result, 2005/2006
The death of tree at the earlier stage was largely attributed to shortage of
water and exposure to excess amount of sun light where as the cause for death
at maturity was avocado disease .But the avocado farmers do not have any idea
about the disease as a cause for the death of their tree. Most of them said
that the tree first dries and then dies. Therefore, in addition to the effort
of generating disease resistant varieties as a sustainable solution, some attempts
should be made to create awareness about the symptoms, causes and provisional
preventive measures of the disease. A larger discrepancy is also observed between
the total number of trees owned ( 37.05) and number of productive trees (8.11)
in an individual farm and the major reason for this gap was mentioned to be
vegetative growth. Most of the farmers reported that their avocado tree exhibit
only vegetative growth at and even after its fruit bearing stage. So avocado
research has to find out a sustainable strategies that can avoid or minimize
this problem in the farmers field.
According to the result in Table 6, by taking an average consumption level of 22.19%, the maximum amount that individual farmers provide for market at the time of good harvest is 6997.41 kg or 93.3 quintal (1quintal = 75 kg) and the average amount for sale by a single farmer is 1702.44 kg or 22.7 quintal (1quintal = 75 kg). However this figure is completely different when there is poor harvest of avocado by farmers. The following table illustrates the production level at the time of poor harvest.
The result from the Table 7 shows that at the time of poor
harvest, the maximum amount that an individual farmer produce for sale is 3341.7
kg or 44.5Q (1Q = 75 kg) and the average amount for sale is 808.44 kg or 10.78
Q (1Q = 75 kg). Here the same average percentage for consumption is used for
both production levels because the same consumption level was observed in both
production levels across all the surveyed weredas. Even if the same level of
consumption (22.18% of the total production) number of fruit bearing trees (8.11/farm)
were assumed to prevail at both good and poor harvest time, a significant variation
was observed in the net amount of sale by farmers in the two harvesting seasons.
This was mainly attributed to the difference in yield/tree at the time of good
(269.78 kg/tree) and poor harvest (120.96 kg/tree). This yield/tree figure by
avocado producers in Southwestern Ethiopia is larger as compared with yield/tree
in Philippines and Thailand. According to a study made by Sotto,
2002 on avocado production in Philippines in 2002, the average yield of
avocado was found to be 84 kg/tree. The same type of study made in Thailand
in 2000 by Babpraserth and Subhandrabandhu 2000 depicted
that the yield/tree of avocado ranges between 40.5 and 179 kg. The increased
yield per tree by the Ethiopian Farmers may be associated with the type of varieties
used and soil nutrient content.
|| Avocado production at the time of poor harvest by an individual
|Calculated from survey result, 2005/2006
|| Productions disaggregated by area at the time of good harvest
|Calculated from survey result 2005/2006
|| Production disaggregated by area at the time of poor harvest
|Calculated from survey result, 2005/2006
One should also expect that there could be a variation in the amount of production among the surveyed weredas. Hence in order to understand the difference and clarify the production level in the specific surveyed weredas, it is better to see the production disaggregated by area.
Table 8 shows that the average production for sale by an individual farmer at the time of good harvest is larger in seka (3807 kg or 51 Q, 1 Q = 75 kg) followed by Metu (1515 kg or 20 Q, 1 Q = 75 kg). These larger average production figures in the two weredas as compared with the rest of the surveyed weredas is mainly attributed to the nearness of those farmers to Jimma and Metu Agricultural research center which in turn made them to have a better access to the seedling and understand earlier about the benefit of producing Avocado.
According to the result in Table 9, the large proportion of amount provided for sale by an individual producer even at the time of poor harvest comes from Metu (823 kg) and Seka wereda (1404 kg). This is mainly due to the existence of a large number of fruit bearing trees in the area as compared with the other two weredas and this in turn can be attributed to the nearness of Metu and Jima Agricultural Research Centre which provide the necessary technical advice and trainings to avocado producing farmers in the area.
Farmers production pattern is largely influenced by their available
physical resource, economic return they expect and consumption need. When we
come to Avocado, 61.9% of the respondent across all the surveyed weredas reported
that they intercrop avocado with coffee, enset, maize, taro, ginger, chat, cabbage
and banana where as 32.4% of them reported that they solely plant this horticultural
crop. Intercropping of avocado with annual crops is made only at its early stage.
The rest 5.7% of them reported that they use both sole and intercropping. Shortage
of land and the need to get more benefit from different enterprises were the
reasons for intercropping avocado with other crops. Similar information was
generated from a study on avocado production in Vietnam in 1999 by N.Minch Chau
and V.Truyen which indicated that avocado is intercropped with coffee and other
fruits to be used as a shadier.
All farmers in the surveyed wereda reported that there is no improved management
practice for avocado in the area. Only a few numbers of farmers reported that
they use spacing technology (7x7 m) and recommended hole width size (60x60 cm)
in planting avocado. Studies made by different scholars on avocado production
revealed that different size of spacing are used by producers in planting their
avocado tree. Forexample, a study made on Avocado production in Peru by Hofshi
(2003) indicated that farmers use 4x3 m spacing for planting avocado. That
is, there is a greater density of avocado here as compared with the Ethiopian
farmers in Southwestern part of the country. This difference in spacing may
be associated with the difference in size and expansion nature of the varieties
used. But the rest of activities starting from seed multiplication up to harvesting
are done by farmers indigenous practice. That is they prepare the land
for seedling raising, add manure and plant the seed. After the seed grows to
a certain stage, they put it in a plastic tube which is filled with soil and
manure. Then they dig a hole, plant it, water it and weed it until it grows.
Some farmers also add compost which is made of ash, animal waste and other by
products around the tree after a certain stage of growth in the fields so as
to increase yield and prevent it from death due to shortage of food or disease.
Farmers also put grinded branch of banana trees around avocado tree expecting
that the liquid from the branch will add moisture to the tree. Hence, besides
multiplying and distributing seed/seedling, research should strongly focus on
generating and introducing improved management (agronomic) practice that can
enrich farmers indigenous knowledge so as to augment production and productivity.
Avocado disease caused by a fungus called phytophtora, is one of the challenges
in avocado production. Its symptoms (drying and rejuvenate again) are not still
known by the farmers but are being observed in a number of avocado trees in
the farmers field. Especially the case of one avocado farm in fisho kebele,
Seka wereda in which almost all avocado trees (more than 50) are destroyed shows
the severity and the great tendency of the distribution of the disease to the
A similar problem of disease has been reported as a major challenging factor in the production of Avocado in different studies made on avocado production by different scholars in Kenya, Philipines and Thailand.
The major production problem that need intervention according to farmers
||Vegetative growth: Most of the farmers reported that
their avocado trees show only vegetative growth rather than giving yield
at their fruit bearing stage
||Falling down of fruits before they are matured
||Pest problem: The pest looks like a fly, white in color and attacks
the stem. This problem is largely observed in Metu area
||There are no improved agronomic practices introduced in the area
||Disease ( drying at the tip and branches)
||Longetivity: Farmers are very much disappointed by the longer time
avocado takes to bear fruit
||There are no extension activities undertaken on avocado in the surveyed
||Better source of cash
||Requires little or no input
||Harvested when there is no harvest of other crops (May-October). So it
doesnt compete for labor with other crops
||Serves as shade and prevent erosion
||Has great nutritional value
In order to understand the marketing system, it is better first to identify
the marketing channels through which the sale is made. According to the investigation
made, avocado is channeled from producer to local collectors, cafeteria and
wholesales in jimma and finally to Addis Ababa market. Figure
1 shows the marketing chain.
From the above chain, the largest volume of transaction is channeled from producers to wholesalers in Jima and then to wholesalers in Addis Ababa. About 42% of the total transaction is form producers to wholesaler in Jimma and finally to Addis Ababa and cafeteria in jimma. 21.7% of the transaction is from producer to local collector and then to wholesaler in Jimma and Addis Ababa. The remaining 18.5 and 8.7% of the total transaction is from producer to cafeteria and retailer respectively and then to consumer in the respective area. Direct sale by producer to cafeteria is most common in Metu area whereas the chain from producers to local collector and then to wholesalers is common in other area. After identify the chain, it is now better to investigate the conduct and performance of the market in each chain
Ninety two percent of the interviewed farmers reported that they have sold
avocado at least once in their farming life time. Of this, 63% of them reported
that they sell their product at the farm gate where as 26.1% them sell to the
nearby town market. Wholesalers followed by local collector and cafeteria are
the major and most preferred purchasers of avocado by the farmer.
|| Marketing chain of avocado in southwestern Ethiopia
Better price (44.4%) better scale (27.8%) and secured market (20%) are the
major reasons for farmers preference of buyers. More than 85% of the sale
is made in bulk on cash basis and 6.5% of the sale is on credit. Advance sale
is also practiced by a very small number of farmers (4.3% of the total transaction)
in which farmers take money in advance from traders and promise to provide the
output when it is ready for sale. The result also showed that 47.8% of the farmers
set their selling price on the basis of the existing demand and supply whereas
46.7% of them relies on the beneovalenence of their buyers to set their selling
price. Only 3.3% of the farmers reported quality as the factor that can influence
the selling price. Similar information was also obtained on the producers market
from the study made on avocado production in Philippines in 2002 by Sotto
(2002). According to the result of his investigation, middlemen, locally
called comprador buys all the avocado fruits from the farmers at
a lower price and sells them in the market at a higher price. The middlemen
generally dictate the farm-gate price since he bears the transportation cost.
However the same type of study made in Thailand in 2000 by Babpraserth
and Subhadrabandhu 2000 revealed a different result in that the supplier
of the planting materials (The Royal project foundation) purchase avocado from
the farmers and sell them to Hotels and Supermarket. Even if such differences
were observed in the supply chain of Avocado among the Ethiopian, Philippines
and Thailand producers market, all the cases clearly depicted that farmers
have a low bargaining power to sell their product at a better scale and price.
The average value of sale of avocado by an individual farmer in all surveyed
weredas at the time of good and poor harvest is 2951.42 and 1271.74 br, respectively.
However it is better to see these figures with respect to each weredas since
there is variation in the production level among the surveyed area and is illustrated
In the Table 10, production cost in assumed to be negligibly
because, there is no fertilizer used and amount of labor required is very minimal.
Cost of acquiring seed/seedling is also neglected b/c it is only for the first
time that farmer acquires the planting material through purchase. Thereafter,
their avocado tree is their major source of planting material.
As can be seen in Table 10, the average amount of additional income that individual farmers could get from the sale of avocado in one production season at the time of good harvest is 6776.4br in Seka, 2290.68br in Mana, 452.4br in Goma and 2286.14br in Metu.
The average net value of sale of avocado by an individual farmer at the time of poor harvest as can be seen in Table 11 is 2504.74 br in Seka, 1141.68 br in Mana 194.53 br in Goma and 1246.02 br in Metu.
Even if the average price level in the four surveyed weredas is almost similar (1.6 br kg-1), the difference in the production level brought the difference in the additional income from the sale of avocado by farmer in the four surveyed weredas. The lower additional income by a farmer from avocado in Goma wereda at the time of good (452.4 br, in Table 10) and poor harvest (194.53 br, in Table 11) may be attributed to the employment of great amount of resource and time to another cash generating crop, coffee. The larger value of sale of avocado by an individual farmer in Seka wereda at the time of good (6776.46 br, in Table 10) and poor harvest (2504.74 br, in Table 11) was mainly due to larger production and this in turn was associated with the nearness of the farmers to technical information and planting material source, Jima Agricultural Research Centre.
Assembles are those people who purchase farmers product in the nearby village
market and sell to the wholesalers. In the case of avocado, assemblers (local
collectors) purchase from farmers with an average price 1.6 bir per kg and sell
to the wholesaler in Jimma with a price ranging from 1birr/kg to 5.50 birr kg-1.
|| Value of sale of avocado at the time of good harvest by individual
|Calculated from survey result 2005/2006
|| Value of sale of avocado at the time of poor harvest by individual
|Calculated from survey result 2005/2006; Production and input
costs are assumed to be negligible as in Table 10
Assemblers are important to the farmers in that farmers do not go larger distance
and incur large amount of transportation costs to sell their output. Usually
they purchase from farmers with the price set by themselves and sell by the
price agreed b/n them and wholesalers.
According to the information obtained, wholesalers in Jima purchase avocado
from Metu, Hurumu Yayu, jimma agricultural research center, Sokoru, Saja and
Shebe. They purchase mainly from farmers and local collectors. 40-50 ISUZU of
avocado (200,000-250,000 kg) are purchased by each of the wholesalers when there
is good harvest during Hamle Nehassie and Meskerem. The minimum amount of purchase
by each of the wholesalers is 3-4 ISUZU (15,000-20,000 kg) at the time of poor
harvest. This minimum amount of purchase occurs when avocado dries and aborts.
When there is a good yield, wholesalers purchase this product with a price of
0.75 cents kg-1 and the price level will go up to 5.50 birr kg-1
when there is minimum production due to drying and abortion Hence change in
supply is the major factor that influence wholesalers price in the area.
That is wholesalers purchase price is largely based on market forces (demand
and supply) and terms of purchase is usually made on cash basis.
After purchase, the wholesalers in Jimma transport and sell their avocado to wholesales in Addis Ababa and Nazereth. A maximum of 40-50 ISUZU (200,000-250,000 kg) and minimum of 3-5 ISUZU (15,000-25,000 kg) of avocado is sold to the Addis Ababa market by the individual wholesaler with a price ranging between 3.50-7 birr kg-1 in one production season (Hamle to Meskerem). Again the selling price of the wholesaler in Jimma to Addis Ababa market is largely set by the existing demand and supply condition and the transaction is also made on cash basis. The benefit that the wholesaler in Jimma can get from the sale of avocado to Addis Ababa is presented below.
As can be seen from Table 12, the maximum net benefit that a single avocado wholesaler could get from the sale of avocado at the time of good harvest can extend up to 331,600birr in one production season.
|| Maximum value of sale by a wholesaler at the time of good
|Calculated from survey result 2005/2006
|| Minimum value of sale by a wholesaler at the time of poor
|Calculated from survey result 2005/2006
According to the result in Table 13, the average net benefit that a single avocado wholesaler could get at the time of poor harvest can go down up to 15,525 birr in a single production season.
The average net benefit that an individual wholesaler in jima can get from the sale of avocado to Addis Ababa in one production season is 173562.50 birr (331,600 birr + 15,525 birr = 347125 birr/2).
A total of 5 cafeterias in selected area of jima town which sell avocado
juice were interviewed using a structured questionnaire since they are the major
route through which avocado is channeled to consumers. According to the information
obtained most of the cafeterias purchase avocado from wholesaler and retailers
because these two sources are easily accessible to the cafeterias. But farmers
are the most preferred source of supply by the cafeterias due to their low price
as compared with the traders. Most of the cafeterias reported that they purchase
avocado when they finish what they have on hand. But weekly purchase is practiced
by the majority of the cafeterias. The maximum and minimum amount of weekly
purchase by the cafeteria is 400 and 60 kg, respectively depending on the level
of consumption of avocado juice by consumers. The higher purchase price is 3
birr kg-1 during winter time and the lower purchase price is 1.50
birr/kg and is usually during the summer time. From the surveyed result, it
was also found out that from 1 kg of avocado, an average of 2 glass of avocado
juice can be obtained. When there is greater demand, an average of 87 glass
of avocado juice is sold by an individual cafeteria and 48 glass of avocado
juice (average) is sold in a day when there is less demand with a price of 2.50
birr glass-1 of juice. That means an average of 43.5 and 24 kg of
avocado is daily consumed by individual cafeterias when there is larger and
lower demand respectively. An individual cafeteria can also get an average amount
of 218 br daily from the sale of avocado juice when there is good demand and
120 bir (average) when there is low demand. The overall result shows that avocado
juice has the highest market demand as compared with the other fruit juices.
Pineaple and mango juices took the second and third places respectively to be
preferred and consumed by consumers.
Before calculating marketing margins, it is important to know some misunderstanding
about the concept of marketing margin:
||Even though exchange activity adds ownership benefit to product
and also generate income for sellers all this income is not pure profit.
In fact big marketing margins may result in little or no profit, or a loss
for the seller involved. That depends on the marketing costs as well as
in the selling and buying price
||Marketing margins are not always earned only by middlemen. In Agricultural
marketing farmers receive part of the marketing margin as producers per
se. To the extent that they also perform marketing activities (e.g., rural
assembly, transport) they also earn an additional share of the total marketing
Marketing Margins of Participants in the Main Avocado Marketing Chain Market
Chain Participants Average Selling Price of Avocado (br kg-1)
According to the margin calculated, 35.41% of the gross profit from the transaction
is taken by the wholesalers in Jimma, 25.4% by assemblers 26.7% by the producers
and the remaining 12.5% of the gross profit is taken by the wholesalers is Addis.
Marketing is process that links production to consumption. Therefore problems
in the marketing system affect both the production and consumption system. According
to the investigation made, most of the farmers reported that there is low demand
and they get low price for their product and have low bargaining power to influence
their price due to their poor economy and perishable nature of the product.
Especially the problem of marketing by farmers is most common in Metu area.
Farmers themselves carry their avocado to sell to cafeterias where they may
not get better scale and price.
Even if avocado was not known before two decades in southwestern Ethiopia, its greater dissemination and production by the leading effort of jimma agricultural research center has currently brought a positive and significant change in the socioeconomic life of those who are actively involved in the production and marketing of this crop. It was found out that avocado was generating an average additional income of 2416 birr in Metu, 480 birr in Goma, 2262.4 birr in Mana and 6091.2 birr in Seka, for an individual farmer with no production and little marketing costs. It is also benefiting those wholesalers selling from Jimma to Addis Ababa by generating an average additional income of 165,187 birr individually in a given production season.
Even though avocado is contributing much for the livelihood of the society in the area, its production in confronted by a number of different challenges. Vegetative growth (ceasing to give yield), falling down of fruit before maturity, pests which attack the stem, fungal disease caused by phytophtora and absence of improved management practice are the major obstacles that are faced by the beneficiaries of avocado production.
Therefore, there should be efforts to minimize and finally eradicate these problems in order to sustain the benefit that can be obtained from the production and sale of avocado.
||Farmers dont even know about the symptoms of the disease.
Therefore the work on awareness creation has to be started and strengthened
||Research has to strongly work an avocado disease and at least has to come
up with temporary prevention measures until the final solution is forwarded
||Research work on agronomic aspects has to be started soon to boost production
||Research on avocado pest has to be started soon since pests are now becoming
challenges just like that of the disease especially in Metu area
||Research also has to work on developing varieties that can give output
within a relatively short period of time
||Just like coffee producers in the area, farmers should establish
their own marketing cooperative so as to increase their bargaining power
in setting their price for avocado
I am very much indebted and grateful to Mr. Tsegaye Gidey for his unreserved effort in generating data from the household. He was also intensively involved in sharing the information that he had about the production and marketing of avocado during the data collection process. I would also like to extend my appreciation to Mr. Dawit Ashenafi and Mr. Hailab Atsebah for their involvement in generating reliable data and commenting on the final research report. Mrs Birtukan Ali also deserves a special acknowledgement for the efficient secretarial service that she had provided in writing this report. My last but best appreciation goes to Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Jima Agricultural Research centre, for providing the funds and other relevant inputs for implementing this research project.