Avocado trees undergo training pruning.
During the first years, it is necessary to remove the shoots from the rootstocks. Then, the pruning is reduced to consist of just removing the dead branches.
When the trees exceed 4 to 5 meters in length, it is necessary to prune them in order to facilitate harvesting. On the other hand, in orchards with intensive cultivation, the trees must be pruned in width.
Several pests can affect the avocado tree, notably fungal diseases at the level of the roots, trunk, and fruits. Several examples are cited, such as Phytophthora cinnamomi which attacks the roots and causes the death of trees. Novo Treat (1L/200L) is used to eliminate this fungus.
Anthracnose is also a fungal disease that causes black spots on the fruits. To fight against this disease, it is advised to use Luna sensation (70mL/200L water) alternately with Cuprocafaro (350gr/200L water).
In addition, “Trunk Canker Disease” is a fungal disease that manifests as dark brown spots and white secretions in the affected area. The products used to fight it are Cuprocafaro (500gr/200L water) mixed with Novo Treat (2L/200L) for biological control or Luna Sensation (70mL/200L) for chemical control.
As for the main pests attacking avocado trees, we can mention thrips, mites, mealybugs, and whiteflies.
While Thrips cause damage to the leaves and fruits, Siltac can be used to control them through spraying at a concentration of 250mL/200L water to eliminate them.
To fight against mites, a mixture of Diva (125ml/200L water) and Dannisaraba (150ml/200L water) can be adopted. On the other hand, whiteflies and mealybugs are eliminated by spraying a mixture of Decis (50ml/200 L water) or Vantex (60ml/200 L water) with Siltac (150ml/200 L water).
Fertilization differs according to the age of the trees.
The first phase is known as the juvenile phase: The tree is less than 3 years old, and the purpose of fertilization is to improve the development of the tree, the roots and the trunk until the latter reaches a diameter of 2m.
During this stage, the flowers are eliminated to promote vegetative growth, and Deltaspray 28/14/14 fertilizer is applied every month on an average of 10 Kg/dunum. Yara Mila 12.11.18 complex fertilizer is also applied as a basic fertilizer on an average of 0.5kg/plant in addition to an input of organic matter with Italpollina (1.5kg/tree).
The second phase is known as the adult phase: Fertilization is proportional to the diameter of the tree during this phase. As a basic fertilizer, the Yara Mila 12.11.18 complex is applied from 1 kg up to 3 kg depending on the diameter of the tree while the organic matter Italpollina is used from 1 to 4 kg depending on the age and volume of the tree canopy. Krista K soluble fertilizer can also be applied in quantities proportional to the diameter of the tree to increase the volume of the fruit, whereas Deltaspray 20/20/20 soluble fertilizer helps especially in poorly developed orchards. It is essential not to neglect the iron intake by applying Protheo iron chelate.
10. Economic situation of the avocado market in Lebanon
Fruits are generally sold on the local market or exported to other countries.
a) The local market
The local market is controlled by the wholesale market of Tire followed by the markets of Sidon, Beirut, Halat and Tripoli.
b) The external market
Even though the Lebanese export volume of avocados seems low, it has been rapidly increasing in recent years. Currently, Lebanon exports between 10% and 15% of the total local production and is considered a significant supplier to the markets of Kuwait and Qatar.
Though the avocado plantation in Lebanon is mainly abundant in the South of Lebanon, it has spread overtime to cover the Lebanese coasts and up to the altitude of 300 m. This production dominated by large landowners, many of whom rent their land to farmers, is an excellent and promising opportunity to be seized by the private sector.
by Eng. Mounir Abi Fadel