Kenya Fresh team was this week on farms checking on the maturity status of the fruit. Good to report positively that the fruit looks good and ready for shipment in mid-February or as soon as the industry regulator opens the photo sanitary.
Avocados should not be harvested until they reach a degree of maturity at which they will ripen to acceptable eating quality and deliver a positive experience to consumers. Avocados should also not be harvested too late as late hanging fruit place a carbohydrate load on the tree which reduces next years crop yield.
During the visit spot checking was done on affected trees for pest management which in turn will ensure surplus production.
Avocado fruits have a number of characteristics that help indicate harvest maturity. It is important to pick avocados when they are mature, as immature fruit will shrivel and not ripen properly. Several indices may be used to determine avocado fruit maturity. Skin texture and appearance is an indicator of harvest maturity in most avocado cultivars. As fruit approach maturity, they develop a smoother skin surface. Also, the glossiness or shine of the skin becomes duller as the fruit reaches maturity