top of page
Search

Old Mutual African Agricultural Fund's Avocado Farm in Kenitra Shows Promising Results in Q1 2023


In 2019, the Old Mutual African Agricultural Fund (OMAAF) invested strategically in a greenfield avocado development in Kenitra, Morocco. The project included installation of state-of-the-art drip-irrigation systems and precision farming technology. The investment is underpinned by global demand-led growth for fresh, healthy, and nutritious fruits. From a macro perspective, the project is aligned with the Green Morocco Plan strategy which aimed at diversifying the Country’s export base of high value agricultural crop and expand agricultural land under irrigation. This article will delve into the season flashback of Q1 2023, highlighting the initial crop yield and the farm's sustainable practices.


Farm Strategy and Competitive Advantage

The Kenitra avocado farm is an export-focused, high-value crop project that benefits from the good global demand for superfruits. In Morocco, the farm leverages the country's strategic geographic position and competitive advantage in the international fresh fruit value chain. Morocco's proximity to European markets and its conducive climate and agricultural expertise provide an ideal environment for avocado production. From a market perspective, shorter route to market will enable to reduce the carbon footprint of the avocado to be sold on the shelves of European supermarkets and the commercial window of December to March during which the Kenitra avocadoes

is currently a period with limited supply therefore allowing for better pricing.


Farm Practices for Sustainability and Efficiency

The farm employs innovative and sustainable practices to ensure optimal resource management and minimize environmental impact. These practices include:


1. Water Use Efficiency: Drip irrigation, soil moisture testing, liquid fertilizer, and analysis of drainage water for fertilizer monitoring promotes efficient water use. This helps conserve water resources and ensures that plants receive the necessary nutrients for optimal growth.


2. Energy Efficiency: The farm utilizes solar-ready irrigation pumps, reducing reliance on conventional energy sources. This approach lowers operating costs and contributes to a more sustainable farming operation.


3. Precision Farming: Advanced techniques such as drip irrigation with a capacitance probe, fertigation, and yield and soil monitoring enable precise control over irrigation, fertilization, and overall crop management. Additionally, the farm enhances the presence of bumble bees in the fields, contributing to pollination efficiency. The use of drone surveying aids in monitoring and optimizing farming practices.


4. Sustainable Agricultural Practices: The farm aims to achieve zero residues by implementing practices such as planting grass between rows, mulching for regenerative agriculture, using plastic-lined waterways to reduce erosion, employing weed mats to minimize pesticide and herbicide use, and implementing pruning techniques specific to each avocado variety.


5. Integrated Pest Management: Continuous scouting and spraying only when pest populations reach economic thresholds ensure effective pest control while minimizing the use of chemicals.


Sales and Commercial Success

The farm's first harvest occurred last year with a production from the first hundred hectares planted with a volume of 220 tons exported to Europe through the African Grower Cooperative, a cooperative set up to ensure and offer marketing and export distribution capabilities to the SIGNATURE’s porfolio farms. Despite being from one-year-old trees, the quality and size of the avocados were well received by European clients. This initial export volume allowed the farm to establish a presence in the market and build relationships with European buyers.


The 267-hectare farm is expected to reach maturity within 2-3 years. As the avocado trees grow and increase their yield capacity, the farm's production is anticipated to expand significantly.


Conclusion

The Old Mutual African Agricultural Fund's avocado farm in Kenitra has demonstrated promising results in its initial years of operation. By adopting sustainable practices, leveraging precision farming technology, and prioritizing water and energy efficiency, the farm is committed to environmental stewardship and resource optimization. With successful exports to Europe and growing market demand for avocados, the farm is well-positioned to contribute to the local economy while meeting the global appetite for fresh and nutritious fruits. As the farm reaches full maturity in the coming


It is expected to impact the local agricultural sector and export market substantially.



37 views0 comments

コメント


bottom of page