Hawaii avocado industry expects growth as exports begin

KAILUA-KONA — Avocado industry officials say shipments of Sharwil avocados from Hawaii and their resulting profits could expand exponentially in coming years.

West Hawaii Today reports Hawaii’s avocado industry opened in early December with weekly shipments of about 3,000 pounds (1,360 kilograms) to two Seattle-based wholesale produce companies.

Hawaii Avocado Association board member Billy Wakefield says hundreds of acres of avocados could “very easily” be sent to the mainland. He says each acre could produce about 5,000 pounds (2,268 kilograms) of avocados each year.

Mike Scharf, an officer in charge for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, says 32 states and the District of Columbia are allowed to import Sharwil avocados from Hawaii.

He says 12 Hawaii farms have either been certified or are preparing for a USDA site visit.

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Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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