The avocado industry is likely to see a boom in the next five years. However, 2019 will see a smaller harvest. 2018 was one of the best years in avocado production, locally.

The overall metric tons of the nutritious delicacy soared to over 170 metric tons, double the quantity for 2017.

About 90% was also exported to Europe. However, in 2019, there could be a dip of about 30%. This is on the back of factors including new plantations and a booming informal sector.

Agricultural consumer goods body, Subtrop, says this is only a temporary bump, as figures are expected to peak on a year on year basis after this season.

“For 2019, we will probably have a slightly smaller crop and this is because we tend to have a larger crop followed by a smaller crop. but the overall trend is one of growth. So, we are expecting growth rate of between 7% and 10% for the next five to 10 years and that is judging by what is coming to industry and what is being planted.”

Praised for its nutritional benefits and versatility, the avocado remains one of the highest priced agricultural commodities. This is due to a higher demand.

Workers at this farm say the early production phase is intense.

“Avocados are expensive because the fruit takes a long time to grow. The high price also contributes to our wages. They are highly priced because of the process it takes to grow them; it also costs a lot of money.”

Limpopo growers will discuss the Avocado production at their annual Maluma symposium in Tzaneen in March.