Avocado earnings by Kakuzi farmers in Kenya shrunk by 45 percent to Ksh.31.4 million for the full year ended December 31, 2022.
This has been anchored on lower export volumes in 2021.
According to Business Daily, the number of avocado cartons sold fell to 94,064 in the review period from 154,858 a year earlier.
“Avocado production volumes were lower than in 2020, and we could not meet all of our customers’ orders. However, it is instructive to note that the Kakuzi order book from the international markets was far more than we could supply, signifying continued market confidence and trust in our products.” Said Kakuzi.
The significant drop in revenues coincides with a January warning the firm had issued to its investors on its turnover.
The gesture was informed by trading information among others, market forecasts and the preliminary unaudited full-year results.
Last year, the company’s half-year trading posted a 3 percent drop in its profit before tax after posting Ksh.276.7 million earnings down from Ksh.285.9 million posted in 2020.
Ng’ang’a attributed the drop in the firm’s earnings to lower yields as the productive avocado orchards had entered their bi-annual production cycle.
In the corresponding year, the firm hopes to level up its earnings after it secured approval from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), to process and prepare export-grade fresh avocados for the Chinese market.
The approval followed a stringent phytosanitary audit for its extensive Kakuzi farms and packhouse.
Kakuzi Managing Director Chris Flowers said the Makuyu based Kakuzi fresh produce Packhouse and Orchards had been inspected and found to be compliant with the high international standards.
“We recently were subjected to a series of random and procedural inspections by KEPHIS, and I am glad to announce that the Kakuzi’s orchards and Packhouse are among the first approved large-scale farming and packing operations, cleared for the Chinese market,” said Flowers.
The value of avocado exports between January and November 2021 fell slightly to Ksh.14.4 billion from Ksh.14.5 billion in a comparable period in 2020 even as the volume of exports rose to 84.5 million kilos from 70.3 million kilos.
In 2020, Kenya was the largest exporter of avocados on the continent despite only exporting 10 percent of its avocado produce.
In 2021, avocados represented 81.8 percent of all earnings from the export of fruits with pineapples and mangoes fetching a mere Ksh.1.4 billion and Ksh.1.2 billion respectively from the export market between January and November.