The Trade and Investment Hub (The Hub) is supporting Zambian avocado growers to access regional and international markets for avocados. An essential aspect of market access relates to complying with phytosanitary requirements of the importing country. The Avocado Growers Association of Zambia (AGAZ, 2017) estimates that local farmers are well placed to produce more than 40,000 metric tons of avocados per annum to meet the growing demand in South Africa as well as to supply the regional market.
South Africa leads the region with .8 kg per capita consumption of avocado (South African Association of Avocado Growers, 2014).
Currently, the National Plant Protection Organisation of South Africa is conducting a Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) for the importation of Hass avocados from Zambia. This month the Hub, in collaboration with the National Plant Protection Organisation, visited an export ready avocado farm in Kabwe, Central Province, Zambia to conduct a phytosanitary audit for collection of data on pest management requested by the Government of South Africa to complete the PRA.
Zambia’s tropical climate is ideal for growing Hass avocado, a medium-sized berry weighing 200-300g. Owing to its taste, size, shelf life, high-growing yield and in some areas, year-round harvesting, the Hass cultivar is the most popular commercial avocado worldwide. More than 220 farmers in Zambia are expected to benefit from the export of avocados to regional and international markets through compliance with harmonised phytosanitary measures.