For entrepreneur Yhaska Ginsberg, avocados are the best fruit in the world and it’s due to its various health and nutritional properties. This is actually among the many reasons why he decided to establish Avocado Express, an avocado nursery orchard in the northern region of Vietnam to raise premium avocado cultivars and export its fruits across Asia.
With the global consumer market becoming more health-conscious, there has been a huge demand for naturally grown fruits and it’s no surprise why avocados became among the top favourite for the past few years.
The avocado farming industry in Asia greatly benefited from this and among the countries that are starting to embrace this booming market is Vietnam, a tropical country that has specific regions that have the right climate for growing pure avocado cultivars like the Hass variant.
The Super Fruit that is the Avocado
The avocado fruit might not really be that appealing with its bumpy and dark skin. In fact, it’s even called the “alligator pear” because it’s shaped like a pear but the roughness of its skin is quite similar to that of an alligator. But as the saying goes, do not judge a book by its cover and this is highly applicable for this nutritious fruit. Once you get to taste the soft flesh, particularly from the Hass cultivar, you’d probably want more avocados in a multitude of ways.
But other than its exquisite taste, the nutritional value is the primary reason why consumers are going gaga over this super fruit which is packed with vitamins A, B, C, E and K, folate, potassium and iron to name a few.
If your family has a history of kidney or heart diseases then you better consider including avocados in your regular menu as it is rich in potassium which according to studies can effectively aid in maintaining your blood pressure at the lower range. And did you know that avocados have more potassium compared to bananas? That is a really surprising fact given that most people thought that bananas are the best source of this essential mineral.
Afraid of bad cholesterol? No problem because avocados can lower it down and increase the good cholesterol instead. How about weight loss? Avocados are also a good addition to your diet because it’s rich in insoluble fibre to make you feel full longer and avoid those instant cravings. Fibre is also essential to keep your digestive system healthy to you’re actually getting more benefits from this fruit.
With all of these nutritional benefits, we’re no longer surprised why avocados are starting to become a precious agricultural product and why the demand is continuously increasing.
Several Challenges in Growing Avocados
If you thought of growing avocados in your backyard then you’d have to consider a lot of factors because this is not just an ordinary plant especially if you want the purest cultivars that are exported in other countries.
In Vietnam, there is a mix of cultivars in the market and but these particular cultivars do not have the same quality and taste as that of the premium Hass cultivar which makes it not ideal to export to other countries.
Planting avocados will also require you a lot of time and patience because it generally takes around 3 to 4 years for the tree to be able to bear its first fruit. This is the reason why local farmers prefer rice farming because it only takes around 4 to 5 months to harvest the crops from the field.
Avocados also require lots of water which means you need to have the proper amount of resources. In other countries, irrigation costs are much higher but since Vietnam has lots of water and experiences a monsoon season, the costs here are much lower.
For Ginsberg, he believes that these challenges can open an opportunity for him the bring improvements in Vietnam’s avocado farming industry since he was able to find an effective way to grow special cultivars in the country’s northern region.
Raising High-Quality Avocado Cultivars
If you’re going to ask people who love eating avocados what’s the best variety, most likely it would be the Hass because of its intense flavour and creamy flesh which is perfect for making guacamole. This specific variety is among the 8 different types of avocado cultivars that can be found in Ginsberg’s nursery orchard. And to be able to get that same quality and consistency in terms of taste and size, Ginsberg introduced a new farming technology that proved to be successful. Such technology has been used by experts from Australia and Israel to produce high-quality apples and this has also been tested to work on avocados as well to naturally improve its taste and quality similar to that of the Hass variety so that it can be marketed to other countries across Asia.
Ginsberg learned of this new farming technology from subtropical horticulturist Mary Lu Arpaia whom he met at a conference in South Africa. Arpaia introduced a new avocado breeding program that dramatically improves the quality of its fruit with much lower costs and via this technology, Ginsberg was able to grow more trees in his farm cost-effectively with a goal of exporting premium avocados in just around 3 to 7 days.
Premium Avocados are Here to Stay
The global avocado market is expected to reach a value of $19.5 billion by the year 2027 and this is due to consumers becoming more aware of the health benefits of this super fruit. With such developments, Yhaska Ginsberg’s premium avocado farming business is just ripe for growth and expansion.
Currently, Avocado Express sits on a 10,000-hectare farm with over 50,000 trees and an additional 50,000 more that is going to be imported from Israel. The farm’s target is to have 1 million trees in 7 years to be able to keep up with the expected market demand and this would definitely contribute to make Vietnam an export hub of high-quality avocados in Asia.