In 2007 James Parsons, came to Africa to find land his a company known as Africado Limited that specialized in avocado farming and exporting. With the price of coffee on international marketing dropping over the last two decades, coffee farmers at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania were at the same time looking for alternative cash crops to grow and the opportunity to deal on avocado came in just in time.
Africado harvested its first fruits in 2010 and with support from Norfund and African Management Services Company (AMSCO) the company has been able to scale the plantation to more than 40,000 trees covering over 137 hectares and involving over 2,400 out-grower farmers. The company plans to engage a large number of independent farmers as vendors of avocados and employ more than 300 locals when it reaches full capacity.
“We started planting in 2008 and we finished planting in 2012,” Parsons to CNBC Africa. “Coffee and avocado grow in similar climates and this was the ideal place to come.”