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LAMCS Tours Buttermere Farm in Kabwe, Zambia

The Lusaka Avocado Multi Purpose Cooperative Society [LAMCS] is pleased to announce that on 13th December 2021, twenty three [23] of its members participated in the study tour of the Buttermere farms. The primary goal of the study tour was to learn about the commercial cultivation of avocados. The team was received by the Mrs. Zelda Bester of Buttermere farms who represented the Managing Director of Buttermere farms, Mr Leslie Bester who at the time of the visit had
other commitments. At the Buttermere farms, they grow avocados on commercial scale. Currently they have 35,000 avocado trees planted covering just under 100 hectares. On plant spacing, the LAMCS team learnt that they initially started with a plant spacing of 7m x 4m. Currently they are using 7m by 3m plant spacing.

Topics covered during the farm tour include:
1. Irrigation system design and the pivotal role water plays in avocado farming
2. Plant spacing
3. Nursery management and planting of avocado seedlings
4. Soil analysis and land preparation
5. Pesticides and disease management program
6. Plant pruning and mulching
7. Plant fertilization program
8. Global gap certification
9. Wind break
10. When to harvest the avocados and pack houses
11. Grafting of avocados
12. Challenges in the local market
13. Flowering and fruit cycle for Hass avocados

Below are some additional comments from members on some key takeaways captured by LAMCS:

  1. Seedlings
    • Buttermere keeps seedlings in the nursery for up to 1 year before planting them in the field
    • They use 7 litre containers for the seedlings
  2. Irrigation
    • Buttermere uses drip irrigation had showed a good contrast with trees that are on drip irrigation vs those that are not

LAMCS will continue to provide more study tours to the membership for the purpose of educating members on the end-to-end view of high quality avocado production.

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