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Date:
Wednesday June 5, 2024

Categories:
Blog

Avocado and Food Public-Private Partnerships: Partnerships for Avocado Development

Introduction

Avocados, often hailed as a superfood, have gained immense popularity worldwide. Their creamy texture, rich flavour, and health benefits make them a staple in many households. But how are these green gems cultivated, improved, and distributed? Enter public-private partnerships (PPPs), which play a crucial role in avocado development. In this blog, we’ll explore how PPPs contribute to the growth of the avocado industry and highlight real-world examples.

Partnerships for Avocado Development

Source: Pexels

1. Avocado Breeding Programs at UC Riverside

UC Riverside’s Avocado Variety Improvement Program (AVIP)

The University of California, Riverside (UC Riverside) has been at the forefront of avocado research. Their Avocado Variety Improvement Program (AVIP) focuses on developing new avocado varieties to meet diverse global requirements. AVIP aims to enhance post-harvest characteristics, improve disease resistance, and create avocados suitable for various purposes, including fresh fruit consumption, commercial oil production, and even pharmaceutical uses.

Industry Partnerships

To achieve its goals, AVIP collaborates with industry partners. One such partner is DataHarvest Inc., a startup leveraging blockchain technology for transparency in managing new avocado varieties. By working together, academia and industry ensure that the next generation of avocados meets consumer demands while maintaining sustainability.

2. Goals of AVIP and Industry Partnerships

AVIP has clear objectives that drive its collaboration with industry partners:

a. Developing New Avocado Varieties

AVIP aims to create avocado varieties that cater to various needs:

  • Fresh Fruit Consumption: Avocados for direct consumption, ensuring taste, texture, and nutritional value.
  • Commercial Oil Production: Varieties optimized for oil extraction, contributing to the growing demand for avocado oil.
  • Pharmaceutical Uses: Exploring avocados’ potential in pharmaceutical applications.

b. Meeting Global Growing Area Requirements

Avocado consumption spans the globe, from California to Kenya to Myanmar. AVIP seeks to develop varieties suitable for diverse climates, soil types, and growing conditions. By doing so, they ensure a stable supply of avocados worldwide.

c. Improving Post-Harvest Characteristics

Quality matters beyond the orchard. AVIP collaborates with industry partners to enhance post-harvest attributes:

  • Shelf Life: Extending the time avocados remain fresh and appealing.
  • Transportability: Developing varieties that withstand transportation without compromising quality.

d. Ensuring Sustainability

Industry partnerships are essential for AVIP’s longevity. By engaging private enterprises, AVIP secures funding, expertise, and market access. These partnerships ensure that avocado development remains sustainable and economically viable.

3. Case Studies: Real-World Examples

Kenya: Integrating Smallholders into Global Avocado Value Chains

In Kenya, the One Acre Fund has been instrumental in integrating smallholder avocado farmers into global value chains. By providing training, access to markets, and fair compensation, they empower farmers to participate in the avocado industry. These partnerships not only improve livelihoods but also enhance traceability and fairness in the supply chain.

Myanmar: Feed the Future Activity Supports Avocado Farmers

Myanmar, too, has seen the benefits of PPPs in avocado development. A Feed the Future activity supports avocado farmers by co-investing with private enterprises. Shan Orchard, for instance, produces cold-pressed avocado oil on a commercial scale. This collaboration ensures sustainable avocado production and economic growth in the region.

4. Conclusion

Avocado development thrives when academia, industry, and smallholders join forces. Public-private partnerships pave the way for innovation, fair practices, and a healthier avocado industry. As you enjoy your next avocado toast, remember the collaborative efforts behind that creamy slice!