Tanzania demand for Burundi avocados rising

THE demand for avocados from Burundi is on the rise despite their high prices as consumers prefer them to local-produced ones due to their size, taste and softness.

‘Daily News’ spot survey at Buguruni and Mabibo, the largest avocados wholesale and retail selling points, showed that the price for imported avocados from Burundi is three to four times higher than the price of local—mostly from Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Iringa, Njombe and Mbeya regions.

The survey revealed that the price of Burundian avocados ranges between 1,500/- and 1,700/- compared to between 300/- and 1,000/- for locals. A Buguruni wholesale and retail avocados seller, Mr Mohamed Temi, in Ilala, said yesterday that despite being the season for the fruit the Burundian avocados demand was still high so was the price.

“People prefer these avocados despite their high prices because of their rich taste, texture and softness,” Mr Temi said, “on top of that they produce more juice than the locals.” He also said his wholesale and retail prices go well as he was not short of customers.

The avocado season is between July and February for both Tanzania and Burundi. Another Buguruni avocado trader Hassan Chamba told the `Daily News’ that the orders and prices vary from wholesale and retail since most of the latter pays more while the former is less depending on the bulkiness of the order.

“The quantity and prices vary from each other,” said Mr Chamba who also sells avocado in this market. Other avocados from Arusha, Mbeya and other parts’ prices range between 300/- and 1,000/- in Buguruni varying according to size.

The small and medium sized range from 300/- to 600/- and 700/- to 800/- while the large ones range from 900/- to 1,000/-.

Ubungo-based Mabibo Market Fruits Chief Executive Officer—Banana, Sadaka Magesa said the wholesale prices of avocados from Burundi is between 60,000/- and 90,000/- per 100kg sack. The price varies depending on the fruit size.

“We normally receive some three to four trucks of avocados per day. A truck carries some 200 sacks. This is around 800 sacks a day,” Mr Magesa said, “the business is good, especially on the hot days”.

According to Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA), the country’s avocado exports reached 11,237 tonnes or 510 containers worth 33 million US dollars in 2021. This was 12.6 per cent more compared to 2020 sales.

TAHA is projecting that Tanzania will export 15,000 tonnes this year, thus generating 45 million US dollars in foreign currency.

Internationally, according to the latest report by World of Statistics, Kenya is the only African country in the top 10 producers of avocados with 176,045 tonnes annual production.

The leading producer being Mexico with 1,889,354 tonnes, Dominican Republic with 601,349, Peru 455,394, Colombia with 309,431 and Indonesia with 304,938 tonnes per annum.

Others are Brazil with 195,492, USA 172,630, Chile 137,365 and China 122,942 in the 10th slot.

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