In the world of avocado exports, Kenya is making waves, and it’s not slowing down.
Over the past three months, from March to May, the Kenyan avocado industry has achieved an impressive feat, defying stiff competition from Chile, one of the globe’s top avocado producers.
The magic number? A staggering Sh9 billion in exports to China.
During this period, Kenya shipped a remarkable seven million kilograms of avocados to Beijing.
The secret to this impressive growth lies in the increasing number of farms and pack houses that are tapping into the bountiful Chinese market.
The Kenya Plants Inspectorate Service (Kephis), the nation’s trusted crops agency, reports that the number of licensed exporters who can access the Chinese market has surged to 78, up from a mere 25 in 2022.
Among these, 58 are farms, while 20 are pack houses.
The principal inspector of Kephis, George Momanyi, sheds light on this phenomenal trend.
He reveals that more and more farms and pack houses are eager to gain entry into the lucrative Chinese market, which offers better prices compared to the traditional European and Middle Eastern markets.
“We have seen a huge increase in terms of demand for exports of our avocados to China. This has significantly boosted the earnings for the country in this new market,” Mr. Momanyi enthusiastically shares.
However, it’s not all smooth sailing for Kenya, as it faces stiff competition from Chile.
The Chilean avocado crop is in season and has flooded the Chinese market, impacting the earnings.
Yet, the resilience and appeal of Kenyan avocados are undeniable.
The journey to exporting avocados to China began in earnest August 2022 after years of waiting due to regulatory requirements set by the authorities in Beijing.
Initially, Kenya could only ship frozen avocados, not fresh ones, leading to delays in accessing the Chinese market.
Nonetheless, the market was finally opened in August, and the results were impressive.
Avocado exports to China brought in Sh7 billion in earnings in just three months, from August to October.
This surpassed the Sh6 billion earned between March and July of the same year.
This remarkable growth highlights the significance of the Chinese market to Kenya.
To export fresh avocados to China, producers and exporters must ensure that all their production farms, pack houses, and fumigation treatment facilities are registered, as required by Chinese authorities.
Additionally, all fresh avocado fruits meant for export must meet Chinese phytosanitary laws and regulations, health and safety standards, and be free from quarantine pests of concern to China.
In conclusion, Kenya’s avocado industry is thriving in the Chinese market, showcasing impressive growth and resilience in the face of competition.
This success story is a testament to the appeal and quality of Kenyan avocados, and it continues to be a lucrative venture for the nation.
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