Itoman farmer aiming to export avocados

Itoman farmer aiming to export avocados

Kinjo proudly promoted his avocados at his fruit garden in the Yoza district of Itoman on August 28.

September 1, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

Koei Kinjo, a farmer in the Yoza district of Itoman City, is one of few in Okinawa cultivating avocado. Producing the fruit since 2010, Kinjo succeeded in growing green and shiny avocados in clusters in a plastic greenhouse this summer. Kinjo said, “I would like to ship my avocados as specialty goods outside of Okinawa.”

He cultivates the fruit in a plastic greenhouse as well as outdoors. While the avocados cultivated outdoors were damaged by typhoon, those cultivated in a plastic greenhouse are steadily growing. Seven avocado trees have produced over 100 fruits.

After being impressed by avocado cultivation in Yaeyama four years ago, Kinjo decided to grow the fruit in Itoman.

To shorten the growth period, he cultivated avocados by grafting. The trees quickly grew and started producing fruits.

Kinjo said, “I don’t need to use agricultural chemicals because the fruit does not attract insects. It is easy to cultivate.”

Kijo said that avocado was cultivated in Hokkaido too, but that Okinawa could also become a major producer of the fruit. He claimed, “Okinawa should lead the avocado market as a major producer of tropical fruits in Japan. I am sure that Okinawa-grown avocado will get popular as a high-class food. By increasing the number of avocado farmers, I would like to make this fruit a specialty product of Okinawa.”

Kinjo recommended a recipe for a drink, which is a mix of avocado, milk and honey, and brandy in a blender. “One of my friends from Brazil taught me the recipe. It is delicious.” Kinjo intends to sell his avocados to a farmer’s market in Itoman this September. He said proudly, “I would like people to taste the fresh and soft avocados that I produced.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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