Tanzania’s avo exporters take protectionist stance

With the opening of the avocado season there appears to be blood on the floor as exporters go toe-to-toe in the quest for new market share of the super food.

In South Africa supply is expected to be 30% lower than last season.

However, new orchards of the ever-popular Hass variety are expected to start harvesting as early as 2020 considering the 40% reduction in delivery experienced in some avo areas such as Tzaneen.

The town, which falls under the Mopani District Municipality, has officially become part of the largest land restitution claim in South Africa.

Tanzania in the meantime has announced that it also has avo issues in which land plays a strong role, although not ideologically.

Secretary general Nicholas Kyomo of the country’s avo growers’ union, Uwamaru, has spoken out against the perceived apathy of the private sector to protect Tanzania’s avocado industry.

His comments came in the wake of growing calls for progressive protection for and promotion of avo growing regions such as Njombe and Moshe near Kilimanjaro up north.

But it’s in the Rungwe area near Tanzania’s border with Zambia and Malawi that the country has placed Hass preservation high on its avo agenda.

Pressure from Uwamaru to get the government to ban the industry from exporting avo seed seems to be bearing fruit as Tanzania increasingly assumes a protectionist stance across many sectors of its economy.

And although critics are calling it a short short-term win long-term lose strategy, consensus on the ground is that Tanzania should heed the role of seed in avo ascendancy.

It’s the only way they can grow avo exports in international terms, according to Kyomo.

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