We continue with our value addition series of articles. As with those we’ve written before, we’re on about yet another food that enjoys high consumption by Kenyans. In a way, you won’t have to create new demand seeing as half of the marketing work is done. It’s a joke, nothing is done.
You should remember that this series focuses on the opportunities in value addition. You will have to take initiative for classes, work or visits to institutions like KIRDI (Kenya Indistrial Research and Development Institute) for further technical assistance, like preservation.
Avocados have been on the up in Kenya. Our country is, now, actually the largest exporter of the fruit in Africa. And number 11 in all the world. One analysis shows that around 33% of all avocado produced in Kenya is exported. The rest find their way to your githeri, and even bread (if you’re degenerate).
A few County Governments are pushing their people to farm this “new cash crop.” It’s also a chance for you, me and anyone else to put this, incredibly delicate, fruit to good use. Avocado can be used to flavor a number of edibles. It can also be converted into other products by itself.
(You can check out our other resources on value addition, in addition to this list)
Avocado oil can be used for beauty care and cooking, for instance. The oil is derived from the flesh of ripe avocados. The flesh is first dried to attain a brownish color. It is then compressed to get oil. Compression is done by machine to squeeze out as much oil as is possible.
Briquettes are a substitute for charcoal. They cost less, smoke less and last longer. Briquettes are made from a selection of compressed waste products. Avocado peels are such a product. They are dried and turned to ash, then mixed with other waste, like saw dust, to make briquettes. Specialized machines are needed to make them.
The seeds are another waste product that have utility. They can be turned into powder. This powder is used in the beauty industry to make face and skin masks, for example. How is it done? The seeds are dried. Secondly, the outer skin is removed and the seeds cut. Cutting makes it easier to grind them into powder.
Paste is the second go-to method of adding value to fruits. Just squish them about. It’s no different with avocados, the flesh can be put through a blender to produce paste. The paste has use in flavoring food, making juices, shakes and, of course, spread.
So, which one do you pick? What would you like to see next? Remember not to get caught up on “technical virtuousity.” Your success also depends on how you manage yourself, your employees, money and exploit opportunities. And a bit of Government policy. It’s pretty hard, haha.1