After three plus years of negotiations between the Kenyan and Chinese governments on establishing practical protocols for the export of fresh avocados from Kenya to China, the first batch of fresh avocados has been flagged off..
These are the first fresh avocados from Kenya, and Africa, to China.
“The Chinese market will be a game changer for Kenyan avocado farming and is likely to lead to rapid expansion with a net effect of greater incomes for our farmers and higher foreign exchange earnings for the country,” David Osiany, the Chief Administrative Secretary for the Ministry of Industrialization and trade said.
Chinese firm Greechain has inked a deal with its Kenyan counterpart, Sunripe to facilitate the shipment of fresh avocados.
This has come after the two countries in January signed two protocols to foster bilateral trade in avocados and aquatic products.
Under the two protocols, Kenya received a green light to commence the export of avocados that meet phytosanitary standards set by Chinese regulators.
The General Administration of Customs of China in partnership with the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service has been involved in certifying the safety and quality standards of avocados grown by local farmers before their export to the Asian country.
Garry Du, the Managing Director of Greechain said that thorough inspection combined with investment in advanced cold chain technology paved the way for the export of Kenya’s fresh avocado to China.
Currently, Kenya is Africa’s leading country in the fruit valued for its nutritional and medicinal properties. It is also the 6th largest exporting nation globally.
The East African nation plants an estimated one million avocado trees annually and is believed to be on its way to top 4 avocado exporter in a couple of years.
Benjamin Tito, the Director of the Horticultural Crops Directorate, said that in July, the country exported 11.2 million kilograms of avocado, earning Ksh 1.5 billion(USD12.6 million) to the exchequer.