NAIROBI — The first consignment of fresh avocados from Kenya has hit the Chinese market, the East African nation’s export agency said Sunday.
The Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (KEPROBA) CEO Wilfred Marube said the exports to China are a big win for Kenya because it has the potential to pull Kenya’s economic growth through the international trade of avocados.
“The factor endowment for production favors Kenya. With the high population, exports to China will additionally enable increased foreign exchange earnings as well as youth and women employment,” Marube said in a statement issued in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
He said that Kenya’s journey to export avocados to China kick-started in 2018 with the signing of several bilateral memoranda of understanding (MoUs) granting market access to Kenya’s agricultural products.
Kenya began exporting fresh avocados to China on Aug. 2 following the implementation of a signed protocol on phytosanitary requirements for the export of fresh produce. This followed the official visit to Kenya in January by the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Marube observed that about ten companies have complied with the set standards and have been approved to export fresh avocados to China.
Kenya’s Ambassador to China Muthoni Gichohi who recently graced the official handover ceremony in Beijing, the capital of China, of the first batch of Kenya’s fresh avocado exports, lauded the efforts made by Kenya and Chinese governments toward the achievement.
Gichohi affirmed Kenya’s commitment to supporting the business communities in both countries as they look forward to enhancing trade facilitation as well as market access of their products and services.
Government data indicate that the east African nation exports an average of 80,000 metric tons of avocados annually, with main markets over the years being countries in the European Union as well as the Middle East.
Marube said that Kenya is currently the world’s sixth largest producer of avocados and the largest African producer of avocados, which are mainly grown by small-scale farmers.
“The export of avocados to the China market has huge potential and experts have estimated that the exports to China could account for up to 40 percent of Kenya’s total avocado output,” he revealed.
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