Top avocado-producing countries and the industry’s sustainability issues

By Daniil Filipenco

Top avocado-producing countries and the industry’s sustainability issues

Often described as a ‘superfood’, avocados have gained popularity all over the world due to their multiple culinary uses and health benefits. So, it’s no surprise that the avocado industry has experienced significant growth in the global marketplace and this looks set to continue.

Apart from being used for consumption, this green and soft fruit is also used to make soaps, cosmetics, and cooking oil. It boasts an abundance of potassium and vitamins K, B6, B5, B9, and E. Also, because of its high monounsaturated fat content, it can be an excellent option for vegetarians or people with limited access to dairy or meat.

What role does avocado production play in international development?

Over the past 10 years, avocado cultivation and trade have increased rapidly on a global scale. Demand has been fueled by the fruit’s appealing features, and profitability has encouraged higher production levels. However, as supply is anticipated to remain stable, avocado consumers will benefit from comparatively low pricing which, in turn, will contribute to the fruit’s continued popularity.

There are several facets to the relationship between avocado production and global development, including social effects and economic growth, but there are also sustainability concerns regarding the production methods.

  • Avocado production helps developing economies such as Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Kenya, where agriculture is one of the most important sectors.
  • Better pay for farmers and other value-chain workers may result from the expanding avocado market with workers being able to support community development and reduce poverty in rural regions.
  • Not only does the avocado sector generate jobs in farming, it also generates opportunities in processing, exporting, and distribution.
  • The increasing demand for avocados has also spurred innovation, particularly in supply chain management and agricultural techniques.

Avocado market value and production levels

The last decade has seen the global level of avocado production register a significant increase, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 7%, and reaching slightly over 8.4 million metric tons in 2022.

Based on data analyzed from 2012 to 2022, a new assessment from Rabobank estimates that the global avocado market is currently valued at approximately US$18 billion, with Mexico being by far the biggest producer of this superfood.

Top 7 avocado-producing countries, 2022

Source: Statista


Mexico leads the way globally in both the production and export of avocados, with more than 2.5 million metric tons produced per year which represents around 30% of world production. Today, Mexican avocados are consumed in 51 countries, with the U.S. being the leading export market for Mexico with an export value close to US$3.5 billion. As of 2022, Mexico had planted about 248,000 ha of avocado trees – a considerable increase compared to 2013 when the nation planted just over 168,000 ha.


Colombia has come a long way in the past 20 years, from being an industry outsider to becoming the second-biggest avocado producer worldwide, with an astounding yield of just over 1 million metric tons. Despite this increase in output, export data shows that the Colombian avocado industry lags behind Mexico, Peru, and the Dominican Republic in terms of monetary value.


Peru has become one of the world’s main suppliers of avocados, particularly the widely-used Hass variety. During the last few years, Peru has increased its production volume of avocados to over 860,000 tons in part because of the attention it pays to local avocado producers. The fact that small growers own 40% of Peru’s Hass avocado plantations shows how deeply local communities are ingrained in the sector.

Overcoming the sustainability concerns of avocado production

The concerns regarding the negative impact that the growth of the avocado industry has on environmental sustainability are similar to those of other agricultural crops: deforestation, excessive water use, and the destructive impact on biodiversity and local ecosystems.

The global demand for avocados is driving increased plantation-style cultivation where the fruit is cultivated in monoculture using a great deal of synthetic fertilizers and other farming methods that damage the soil.

Deforestation is yet another issue with avocado cultivation with local farmers destroying large areas of land to make room for their crops which in turn takes its toll on biodiversity.

Addressing these challenges involves modern high-value agricultural equipment and digitization. Researchers agree that improved agricultural input management and a reduction in avocado cultivation’s ecological footprint can be achieved with the help of precision farming technologies such as:

  • Geographic Information System (GIS) – allows spatial data linked to farming activities such as field borders, topography, soil, and crop types to be created, stored, and evaluated.
  • Yield Monitors – employed in precision agriculture to assess and record crop yields as these are being harvested.
  • Auto-guidance systems – tech that uses GPS along with a number of other sensors to help farmers to accurately navigate their vehicles and equipment across fields.
  • Proximate sensors – these allow farmers to analyze soil and crop properties as a tractor crosses a field.

Technologies such as these allow farmers to make smarter decisions regarding fertilizer use, irrigation, and pesticide use. A combination of the results of these more informed decisions can alleviate the effects on soil and biodiversity and contribute to fewer resources being used with minimal pressure on eco-systems.

Farmers must also implement more environmentally friendly farming techniques to guarantee the long-term health of the environment, such as:

  • Lower deforestation rate
  • A reduction in the amount of water used with the help of automated drip irrigation
  • The use of environmentally friendly integrated pest management.

Final word

The expansion of avocado cultivation has the potential to play a major role in global development by providing advantages in terms of higher income, lower poverty rates, and economic and social development. However, to maintain long-term profitability and minimal negative effects on the environment and society, we must use sustainable agricultural practices.