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Avocado Market Review: February 2020

Avocado Update February 2020

Avocado Market – Mexico’s New Conflict Commodity?

As avocado market global demand has increased, the Mexican drug cartels have diversified into extorting and providing “protection” to avocado farmers. Mexico’s organized crime cartels are typically known for cocaine, cannabis and opium exports. Recently, they have begun hijacking the fruit exports to increase their illicit profits. The avocado business has become so dangerous in towns like Michoacan that the municipalities were forced to hire private armed security to protect the towns.

Kenyan Avocado Market Shuts Out Small Farmers From Export Business

It is not a widely known fact that Kenya is the world’s third-largest producer of avocados. It is also not well known that Kenya only exports 10% of its total avocado production. The export market is dominated by five companies: (1) Sunripe, (2) Vegpro, (3) Kazuki, (4) East African Growers, and (5) Kenya Horticultural Exports. The barriers to entry for small avocado farmers are capital and liquidity, institutional support, poor infrastructure, and virtually no access to major production technologies.

Avocados May Be Healthy But It’s Killing The Chilean Water Supply

To keep the avocado market-moving, each Avocado requires close to 80 liters of water to produce. (a typical orange requires only 22 liters). This need for water has put a strain on the water supply for regions like Chile’s Petroca province. This strain is creating an economic crisis for small local farmers. Once the major avocado growers appeared, they were given priority access to the local water supply and have been unwilling to share water with the residents or the local wildlife.

Avocado Market Killing Chile's Water Supply
Editorial Credit: Google Earth

Australians Plan To Clone Avocados

A three-year research project in Australia utilizing propagation technology is showing promise. According to Dr. Madeleine Gleeson, “The research could benefit farmers Australia-wide, providing a productive, competitive and sustainable avocado industry for years to come.