Europeans Are Demanding More Avocados From Lebanon

Lebanon Avocados
Anthony Rehayel l AgriNahouli

Your all-time favorite green fruit is gaining popularity in Europe as Lebanon experiences a rapid increase in avocado production.

The cultivation of these versatile and creamy fruits has sparked a significant uptick in Lebanon’s export numbers. Over the past four years, European demand for Lebanese avocados has surged, driven by the adoption of international certifications and standards for avocado farming.

The cultivation of this creamy flavor fruit has led to a promising increase in Lebanon’s export figures.

Avocado cultivation has become widespread across Lebanon, with Lebanese avocados now gracing the shelves of markets in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Eastern European countries.

According to the Lebanese Avocado Association, revenue from Lebanese avocados has significantly risen from 40 tons in 2020 to 1,000 tons in 2023, fueling growth in both the agricultural sector and export industry.

This comes as a relief following the loss of $2.5 billion to the Lebanese economy’s agricultural sector due to the Hezbollah-Israel border clashes.

In addition to that, and despite facing competition from American and European producers, Lebanon remains a prominent exporter, particularly to Arab countries like Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and the Gulf states.

In 2023, Lebanon exported around 9,000 tons of avocados valued at approximately $15 million, a notable increase from $10 million in 2020.

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Avocado trees thrive in mild climates, making Lebanon’s fertile soil and temperate weather perfect for their growth.

With vast unused farmland, especially in coastal areas previously dedicated to citrus fruits, Lebanon has become an ideal spot for avocado cultivation. Although bananas were also introduced, they didn’t match the success of avocados due to competition and other reasons.

It’s worth mentioning that several organizations, including the Rene Moawad Foundation and the Embassy of the Netherlands, have been instrumental in supporting Lebanon’s avocado industry.

The Embassy of the Netherlands has funded agricultural development programs focused on teaching farmers how to grow and export avocados, cherries, and apples, further boosting Lebanon’s agricultural potential in collaboration with The Rene Moawad Foundation.

As Lebanon continues to navigate its economic challenges, the avocado industry offers a glimmer of hope for the country’s economic recovery. With its potential to generate revenue, create employment opportunities, and promote sustainable agriculture, avocados have emerged as a valuable commodity in Lebanon’s “green gold” industry.

In the summer of 2018, McKinsey & Company, (a US-based consulting firm) contracted by the Lebanese government to draft an economic plan, shared their insights emphasizing the importance of avocado production, a dietary favorite among millennials.

This innovative approach points to Lebanon’s potential to adapt to evolving consumer demands and broaden its agricultural portfolio, potentially fostering economic resilience and growth.

Moving forward, Lebanon needs to capitalize on this momentum by further investing in avocado cultivation, expanding market access, and fostering innovation in the agricultural sector.

By doing so, Lebanon can unlock the full potential of its avocado industry and can thus enhance the economic sector.