Kenya will be the first country in Africa to start exporting avocados to China after a trade agreement was signed between President Uhuru and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The move brings forth a smooth market opening for Kenyan farmers who will now be able to export their Hass Avocado to China easily and conveniently to over 1.4 billion consumers.
Before the agreement was signed, a comprehensive approval process took place which included Chinese experts visiting Kenyan farmers to analyze the Avocado and ensure that they meet the required standards before a go-ahead is given.
It is estimated that when the agreement is fully implemented, the Chinese market will absorb over 40 percent of Kenya’s avocado produce, making it one of the largest importers of the fruit. Other famous destinations of Kenyan avocado include Europe and the US.
The signing of the protocol on sanitary and phytosanitary (an agreement relating to the health of plants, especially with respect to the rules of international trade) requirements for the export of frozen avocado was the last major hurdle for the Kenyan crop to be accepted in the highly regulated but lucrative Chinese market.
Avocado becomes the second farm produce from Kenya to access the expansive Chinese horticultural market after Stevia and will be followed by 13 other priority farm produce among them flowers, mangoes, French beans, peanuts, vegetables, meat, herbs, bixa, and macadamia.
The meeting between Presidents Kenyatta and Xi Jinping and their delegations focused on promoting economic and trade exchange in 8 key initiatives identified during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) meeting held in Beijing last year. These initiatives include an industrial promotion, trade facilitation, infrastructure connectivity, green development, and people-to-people exchange. Others are capacity building, healthcare, and peace and security.
In addition to the avocado deal, President Kenyatta witnessed the signing of an agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation covering all sectors of mutual interest and an MOU on joint promotion of the implementation of the 8 FOCAC priority areas.
President Kenyatta is in Beijing, China for a three-day working tour where he will also attend the Second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation that will be officially opened by President Xi Jinping on Friday.