Avocado Trading 101: Production, Harvest, And Distribution

Avocado production involves the cultivation of avocado trees (Persea americana), which are native to Central and South America. Avocados are a major commercial crop due to their high nutritional value and versatility in culinary applications. Here’s a detailed overview of avocado production:

Global Avocado Production

Farmers grow avocados in over 70 countries around the world. Mexico is the world’s largest avocado producer with over 2.5 million MT per year, or more than 28% of the total global crop.

Major Producing Countries

  1. Mexico: The largest producer and exporter of avocados, particularly the Hass variety. The state of Michoacán is the leading region for avocado cultivation.
  2. Colombia: Increasing its production and export capabilities.
  3. Peru: An important exporter, especially to European and Asian markets.
  4. Dominican Republic: Another significant producer, with a diverse range of avocado varieties.
  5. Kenya: Kenya is the largest avocado producer in Africa.
  6. Indonesia: Indonesia is the largest avocado producer in Asia.
  7. Brazil: The agricultural giant produces almost 400KMT per year.
  8. Vietnam: Vietnam has more than replicated its production of avocados in 5 years and is now among the largest avocado producers.
  9. Israel: The miracle of irrigation, Israel is a top producer of avocados.
  10. Haiti: Even if production was about 100% larger just a few years ago, Haiti is still one of the top 10 producers of avocados.

Cultivation Conditions

  • Climate: Avocado trees thrive in subtropical and tropical climates. They require mild temperatures without extreme frost and a well-defined dry season for fruit development.
  • Soil: Well-drained, loamy soils with a pH between 6 and 7 are ideal. Avocado trees are sensitive to waterlogged soils.
  • Watering: Adequate irrigation is crucial, especially during flowering and fruit development stages. However, overwatering can lead to root rot.


  • Hass: The most popular variety, known for its creamy texture and rich flavor. It has a thick, pebbly skin that turns dark purple when ripe.
  • Fuerte: Pear-shaped with smooth, green skin. Known for its high oil content and buttery texture.
  • Bacon: Medium-sized with smooth, green skin. It has a milder flavor and is less oily.
  • Zutano: Larger with a shiny, thin skin. It has a lighter, more watery taste.
  • Reed: Round with thick, green skin. It has a rich, buttery flavor.

Harvesting and Post-Harvest Handling

  • Harvesting: Avocados do not ripen on the tree. They are harvested when they mature and ripen off the tree. The timing of harvest depends on the variety and region.
  • Ripening: After harvesting, avocados are stored at temperatures between 45°F and 55°F (7°C to 13°C) to prolong shelf life. They ripen at room temperature.
  • Packaging: Proper packaging is essential to prevent bruising and damage. Avocados are often packed in padded trays or mesh bags.

Economic and Environmental Impact

  • Economic: Avocado production is a significant economic activity in many producing countries. It provides employment and contributes to GDP through domestic sales and exports.
  • Environmental: Large-scale avocado farming can have environmental impacts, such as deforestation, water usage, and pesticide use. Sustainable farming practices are being promoted to mitigate these impacts.


  • Pests and Diseases: Avocado trees are susceptible to pests like thrips and diseases like root rot caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi.
  • Climate Change: Changes in climate can affect production areas, requiring adaptation strategies.
  • Market Fluctuations: Prices can be volatile due to supply and demand dynamics, affecting profitability for farmers.
  • Water availability: Avocados are needy trees that require a lot of water. Some production areas in Chile have been suffering from increased soil dryness due to the use of underground water reserves for watering avocado orchards.
  • Sustainable Practices: There is a growing focus on sustainable farming practices, including organic production, water conservation, and integrated pest management.
  • Technology: Advancements in agricultural technology, such as precision farming and improved irrigation systems, are helping to increase efficiency and yield.
  • New Markets: Expanding into new markets, especially in Asia, where demand for avocados is rising.

Avocado production is a complex and dynamic sector with significant economic importance and environmental considerations. Sustainable practices and technological innovations are key to its future growth and viability.

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