This article is sponsored content from the World Avocado Congress.
Colombia is a country with great natural wealth and a tropical climate that stands out for the opportunities it generates in the agricultural sector. The land is characterized by its temperate climate, appropriate humidity, weathered soils, high irradiation and a marked altitudinal topography. This allows our fruit, particularly the avocado, to have special characteristics.
As Colombians, we have been able to observe the immense growth of the avocado industry, where every year, there are more hectares that grow this fruit. This revolutionizes the international market, especially Europe, the United States and now Asia.
In 1982 there were only a few avocado plantations, and now 37 years later, it is said that there are about 17,000 hectares sown in departments such as Caldas, Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, Santander, Norte de Santander, Risaralda, among others.
The avocado brings in business because of the exponential growth the industry has seen where it has evolved not only in orchards, but also in terms of exports.
In 2009, when the export of Colombian avocados began, a total of two and a half containers were sent to the Dutch market. Now, only 10 years later, this figure has spiked impressively to an estimated total export of 56,700 tons. This translates to roughly US$78 million.
This is an industry in which growth has significantly favored the country, given how many families now live on avocado crops, how many women have work opportunities in the sector, and the favorable development of avocado trees that has been recognized all over the country.
It should be noted that the development of the industry in the country has attracted foreign investment, where more than 6,000 hectares have already been purchased by Mexican, Chilean and Peruvian investors to grow avocados.
As we find great opportunities in the country for the cultivation of the fruit, there are also a lot of challenges. The main one is to maintain a business that is becoming competitive, but also making it sustainable in the long run.
These two aspects require specific efforts such as focusing on the quality of the products. Here, we must work towards the development of certifications of origin, where the aim is to unify the quality of the avocado. It is necessary to make an increased effort in the management of
agriculture, where thematic issues such as human development and human management are taken into account. Likewise, a special emphasis must be placed on the promotion of the internal consumption of avocados.
We must call on small and large producers to commit to their work and the delivery of quality products. It’s not just about opening up the market and sending out a large number of containers; we must come up with promotional strategies for the product other countries, which
requires significant investment.
To learn more about the reality of the avocado market, the technologies implemented in the sector and other topics of interest in the industry, attend the IX World Avocado Congress.
Get your tickets here