Empirical data collected from smallholder farmers (N = 99) residing in three Woredas of Jimma zone, was analyzed to investigate production issues pertaining to avocados, and the pros and cons of producing the crop was investigated. To address these tasks, field and desk research was accompanied by interviews and discussions with focus groups. Despite the crop’s potential, data suggest that avocados have not yet been fully exploited in Jimma zone where the crop remains an elemental component of farming systems. Results highlighted a shortage of large commercial processors, weak financial institutions and monetary support, and a lack of enabling infrastructure, especially such as research, and extension to support farmers, and production and marketing chains. Despite large production volumes, the potential of avocado production is not being realized because of these identified shortcomings. Consequently, intervention points and socio-economic constraints are outlined in an attempt to improve avocado production capabilities in Jimma zone.
Key words: Avocado, Jimma, production, smallholder farmers.
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