DEVELOPMENTS IN THE WORLD AVOCADO INDUSTRY, AND THEIR RELEVANCE TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN AND AFRICAN INDUSTRIES
World avocado production expanded from 2.7 mill. t in 2000 to 3.6 mill. t in 2009. This expansion was largely driven by increasing access to the USA as phytosanitary obstacles were overcome. USA imports of ca. 360,000 t in 2009 have overtaken the European Union (ca. 210,000 t). Increased exports from Mexico, the worlds largest producer, have been accompanied by rapid growth of production and export from Chile and Peru, which have overtaken South Africa (40,000 t export, mainly to the EU) and other traditional suppliers. In Africa, Kenya is also a significant exporter to Europe (ca. 12,000 t), but there is scope for expansion if obstacles can be overcome. The main technological problems are relatively low average yield; alternate and irregular bearing; Phytophthora root rot; insufficient proven elite cultivars and rootstocks; uncertainty about best practice management in the variable main environments (humid subtropical, semi-arid winter rainfall coastal areas respectively mesic/invigorating and stressful/non-invigorating); and postharvest issues. Trends towards higher density planting, containment pruning, bioregulator sprays and integrated management of root rot are well established in the technologically advanced subtropical (as opposed to tropical) industry. Research advances in overcoming longstanding problems, and a trend towards internationalization of research, allow for guarded optimism about the future of arguably the worlds most nutritious fruit.
Wolstenholme , B.N. (2013). DEVELOPMENTS IN THE WORLD AVOCADO INDUSTRY, AND THEIR RELEVANCE TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN AND AFRICAN INDUSTRIES . Acta Hortic. 1007, 865-871
Persea Americana, world production and trade production problems, research highlights