The fruit has been fetching better prices with a kilo going for about $8 (970 shillings) when compared to the $6 (729 shillings) offered by the traditional European market.
Kenya’s avocado exports to China hit 7 Billion shillings in the three months to October exceeding the 6 billion shillings that were fetched in the first seven months of the year, signaling the high demand that the fruit has generated in the Asian Market.
Head of Horticulture Directorate Benjamin Tito said Kenya has exported 1.7 million kilograms of avocado since it was allowed to ship fresh produce to China.
“The fact that the country has earned Sh7 billion on exports of avocados to the Chinese market in three months means that China presents a great opportunity for our farmers,” said Mr. Tito.
The export of fresh avocados to China follows the early January signing of two protocols to facilitate bilateral trade, mainly the export of avocados and aquatic products from Kenya to China. In March, China allowed Kenya to start exporting fresh produce. Shipping of the commodity to china would have commenced in May but it was not possible as China wanted to conduct a different safety audit.
Shipping of the fruit to China commenced in July following a health inspectorate that cleared 15 Kenyan firms to enter the vast Chinese market. With the introduction of new high-potential markets such as China, Kenya has been expecting a growth in the value of horticultural exports, occasioning a positive economic ripple effect. The fruit has been fetching better prices with a kilo going for about $8 (970 shillings) when compared to the $6 (729 shillings) offered by the traditional European market.
Chief executive officer of the Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya Ojepat Okisegere called upon authorities to ensure compliance with the Chinese requirements to ensure Kenya’s produce is not intercepted for non-compliance.
The new requirements by the Chinese market stipulate that producers and exporters seeking to export the commodity to china will have to ensure their farms, pack houses, and fumigation treatment facilities are registered by Kephis.
All the fresh produce meant for export must also be free from pests and must comply with Chinese phytosanitary (Plant Health) laws and regulations.
The 2021 avocado exports in Kenya increased 24 percent to 87,000 tons from 72,000tons exported in 2020, signaling a surging demand for the fruit in the international markets despite the impacts of the covid 19 pandemic. Kenya is still scouting for more markets for fruit to capitalize on the high demand it has created in the world markets.