Robert Mburu has been successfully growing coffee in his village of Kihumbu-ini, Murang’a county, for decades. He had cared for 600 coffee trees for years, but grew tired of the sector’s mismanagement in 2015. By that time, it was struggling, with farmers earning as little as Sh 20 (€0.16) per kilogramme of coffee sold.
Mburu decided to switch to avocado farming and planted 1,800 seedlings in the coffee farm before eventually chopping down the coffee bushes to make way for the avocado trees. He now has an eight-acre orchard that includes mangoes, bananas, and macadamia.
When Mburu began farming avocados, brokers would purchase his fruits for around Sh5 per piece, but prices have steadily increased to as high as Sh 25 per piece. He now sells his fruits to a variety of exporters with whom he has contracted farming and who pick the fruits at his farm.