Avocado as a fruit has numerous benefits and high market potential.  However, its potential in Uganda unlike neighboring countries like Kenya and Rwanda is still underexploited.

Uses of Avocado

Avocado is a source of food, which can be used in salads and in other preparations. By-products such as oils can be used to make cosmetics to improve skin, breath, scalp and facial appearances, and consequently lower volume of cosmetic imports. Seeds can be used in the pharmaceutical industry.



  Common name


  Scientific name

  Persea Americana Mill




  Persea Americana

  Combined Nomenclature (CN) commodity code for    fresh Avocados


Uganda currently has more indigenous varieties which are little known on the global market. However, there are efforts to increase the production of some of the popular varieties such as the Hass and Fuerte;


Common Avocado Varieties in Uganda










  • Oval shape
  • Medium to large fruits
  • Easy peeling
  • Smooth thin greenish
  • Yellow to green when fresh





  • Black skin
  • Oval Shape
  • Pebbly, thick but pliable skin (tough skin), dark, purple when ripe.
  • Average to large fruit
  • Great taste
  • Early maturing










  • It around fruit
  • Medium size
  • Easy pilling
  • Skin remains green
  • Has creamy flesh
  • Pear shaped
  • Small to medium fruit
  • Skin slightly rough to touch with many small dots







  • Large fruit size
  • Dark green skin and slightly rough
  • Pulp is light yellow and medium sized seed.



Production requirements & conditions

Avocados do well in altitudes between 1,000m to 2,000m. The fruits are generally bigger in cool areas as compared to warm areas. The optimum temperature is 20 to 24 degrees celcius. Although avocados are fairly resistant to drought, well-distributed rainfall of between 1000-1200mm is adequate for proper crop development. They also require well-drained soils to avoid root rot. The best soils are sandy or alluvial loams with pH ranging from 5 to 7.

Planting materials
Avocados can be grown from seeds or from seedlings. Grafting improves the variety by increasing its resistance to diseases, improving yield and increasing its adaptability to different soils. The planting material should be inspected by relevant personnel such as agronomics to ensure they are free from diseases.

Avocadosmainly flower in October and are mature for picking between June to September. It is important to know how to identify the correct harvesting period because avocados are harvested raw and ripen off the tree. Harvest a few fruits and keep them in favorable conditions to ripen. If the fruits ripen evenly, they can be considered to have been mature.


The yield depends on several factors such as proper pest and disease control, plant density, and soil fertility among others. Generally, the average yield of Hass avocados is 87,780 fruits per acre.


2.  Market Overview

The presence of avocado in the world market has been growing steadily in the past two decades, and it is no longer considered an exotic fruit but part of the everyday diet of many countries. This tendency has been reinforced by the consumer tendency to look for natural products.  Avocado has a large market as fresh fruit, besides its use in the oil, cosmetic, soap, and shampoo industry; as well as processed foods derived from it, such as guacamole, frozen products, and avocado paste.


Avocado demand has grown rapidly in recent years, particularly in developed (USA, EU) and emerging markets (China) where the high nutritional content and taste of avocados is driving robust demand. The strong demand trend is well illustrated by import growth which has grown at 17% per annum over the last decade. Between 2014 – 2017 the total value of global avocado imports almost doubles from US$ 3.4 billion to the US $6.1 billion. Yet despite the strong growth and high consumer appeal, avocado production significantly lags that of other popular fruits.


Consumers in developed and developing markets are becoming more aware of health issues and pay more attention to their diet. Avocado fits well in this trend due to its good fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These health aspects are used in the promotion of avocados and contribute to increasing consumption globally.


The Netherlands accounts for 47% of European avocado imports. From there, large volumes

are re-exported to Germany, France, Scandinavian countries and to a lesser extent other countries. Large export destinations in Europe are France and the UK. In general, the European market is expected to grow further in the coming years. Nevertheless, the market will remain very competitive with importers favoring larger producers because of supply certainty.


Export Market Entry Requirements

Avocados are generally classified into three classes according to quality:

  1. Extra Class
  2. Class I
  3. Class II

The major markets; Europe and the USA almost exclusively maintain class I as a minimum.

Avocados should, at the very least, be:

  • intact
  • clean and sound
  • free from pests
  • free from damage
  • free of abnormal external moisture
  • have a stalk no longer than 10 mm in length
  • be in a condition to withstand transport and handling


Size and packaging

Fresh avocados are classified according to Size Codes 1 to 30, with a minimum weight of 123 grams (or for Hass 80 grams). In Europe, the preferred sizes for Hass avocados range between size 16 and 20 (for the Fuerte variety 14 to 16).

Packaging requirements differ between customers and market segments. They must at least be

packed in new, clean and quality packaging to prevent damage and protect the product properly.

Always ensure that you discuss packaging requirements with your customers.

Some general characteristics are:

4 kg cardboard boxes, often wholesale packaging 10 kg plastic or cardboard crates, often for importers that ripen and re-pack avocados

Make sure to use a controlled atmosphere during the logistical process.


  • Consumer packaging labeling must comply with the rules and regulations applying to the

international market:

  • Labels cannot contain any toxic ink or glue
  • Products must be traceable using a coding system for individual lots
  • Labels must be in the English language unless buyers indicate otherwise.

The following items should be on the label of fresh fruit and vegetables:

  • The product name, including the name of the variety
  • The commercial identification: class, size (code), number of units, net weight
  • Name and address of exporter, packer and/or dispatcher
  • Country of origin
  • Traceability code
  • Optional: certifications, for example, organic (including the name of inspection body and certification number)

Import requirements

Buyer requirements can be divided into (1) compulsory, requirements you must meet in order to enter the market, such as legal requirements, (2) common requirements, which are those most of your competitors have already implemented, in other words, the ones you need to comply with in order to keep up with the market, and (3) niche market requirements for specific segments.

Minimum pesticide residues

Pesticide residues are one of the crucial issues for fruit and vegetable suppliers. To avoid health

and environmental damage, the EU has set maximum residue levels (MRLs) for pesticides in and on food products. Products containing more pesticides than allowed will be withdrawn from the EU market. Note that buyers in several Member States such as the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, and Austria, use MRLs which are stricter than the MRLs laid down in EU legislation.

Complying with phytosanitary requirements

Fruit and vegetables exported to the regional and international markets must comply with the legislation on plant health. Importing countries have laid down phytosanitary requirements to prevent the introduction and spread of organisms harmful to plants and plant products. These requirements are managed by the competent authorities in the importing and exporting countries.

Additional buyer requirements

GLOBALGood Agriculture Practices (GAP) and other certifications as a guarantee for food safety. Since food safety is a top priority in the food sectors, most buyers often request for extra guarantees from you in the form of certification. The most commonly requested certification for avocado is Global G.A.P., GLOBAL G.A. P is a pre-farm-gate standard that covers the whole agricultural production process, from before the plant is in the ground to the non-processed product (processing is not covered). The need for GLOBAL G.A.P. also depends on the destination country, market conditions and market channel. For example, it has become nearly impossible to supply northern Europe without GLOBALG.A.P., since it is a standard requirement for most importers.

Global import and export trends

Promising Markets for Avocado




Value imported in 2018 (USD thousand)

Quantity imported in 2018

Unit value (USD/unit)

Annual growth in value between 2014-2018 (%)

Annual growth in quantity between 2014-2018 (%)





































United Kingdom






























Source: ITC Trade map, April 2019


Global avocado imports stood at US$ 6.1 billion, having grown at a rate of 18% between 2014 – 2018. The United States is by far the largest importer of avocado fruit. In 2018 the USA imported 1 million tonnes valued at US$ 2.4 billion. Mexico and Costa Rica were the major suppliers taking 80% of the market share.  The Netherlands is the world’s second-largest import market followed by France and Germany. Though China took the 8th position as an importer, it registered impressive growth in terms of value and volume of 77% and 71% between 2014 – 2018.  The potential in these markets is huge as they are currently already importing largely thus important export markets for Ugandan avocado.


Global price trends

Avocado has witnessed a growing market for several years. Changes in production planning and climate result in variation of supply and therefore also prices. In 2014 prices dropped due to an oversupply, while in 2015 and 2016 they started at a higher level because of poor or postponed harvests in the key producing countries Peru and Chile. In general, importers favor larger producers because of supply certainty.


Competition analysis

Uganda has two avocado growing seasons unlike the USA, South Africa, Mexico, Peru, Chile that have only one season, which implies it’s possible to get required volumes with less difficulty.

Uganda’s linkages to regional avocado markets, cost structure, and climatic conditions give Uganda distinct competitive advantages in the export of avocados. Furthermore, the global market need for increased avocado supply goes beyond Uganda’s production capacity; thus the increase in capacity or competitive advantage of another producing country does not negate this opportunity for Uganda. Uganda has close proximity to the regional avocado supply and is an attractive extension to the regional export network. Uganda’s current export markets for avocado; Belgium, UK, Latvia, France, UAE, Oman, Kenya, Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, Qatar, Spain, Bahrain, Norway, Maldives, Italy, Germany, Kuwait, South Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Denmark, |Canada, Estonia, Czech Republic, Finland.


Presently Kenya is the only significant exporter of avocado in the region; however, across a number of dimensions, Uganda is a more attractive origin for avocado exports.




3.  Key players and value chain actors


Commercial producers and producer organizations

Judith Bakirya (Ms.),

Tel:  +256 773 168588

E-mail:  bakirya09@gmail.com



Exporters - Uganda Exporters Directory: www.ugandaexports.go.ug

Export packaging service providers: www.ugandaexports.go.ug


 4.  Competent Authorities


Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries

Plot 14 - 18, Lugard Avenue,

PO. Box 102, Entebbe

Tel: +256 (0)414 321107/ 320901

Fax: +256 (0)414 321 047

Email: ps@agriculture.go.ug

Web: http://www.agriculture.go.ug

Attn: Department of Crop Inspection and Certification

Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS)

UNBS - Standards House,

Bweyogerere Industrial Park,

Plot 2 - 12, Kyaliwajala Road,

P.O Box 6329, Kampala

Tel: +256 (0)417 333 250 / 1 / 2

Email: info@unbs.go.ug

Website: www.unbs.go.ug