AVOCADO growers are hiring security guards to deter thieves from stealing their fruit in Axarquia.

The move comes after a number of growers reported thefts in their fields, and are blaming high prices.

One grower, Francisco Torre, contracted a security guard after 1,000 kilos of fruit were stolen from his plot of land, which he says ‘have a value of around 2,500’.

Avocado prices have skyrocketed from a surging global demand and reduced harvests from major producers in Mexico, Peru and California.