Kenyan avocado exports taste of things to come with expanded market
Exports of fresh avocados from Kenya to China officially started on Tuesday with the departure of the first shipment from the capital Nairobi. The ceremony was attended by senior government officials, diplomats and industry executives.
Kenya has become the first African country to export fresh avocados to China in a bid to further strengthen economic ties between the two countries. This was after Beijing opened its doors to fresh fruits from 15 Kenyan companies to enter the vast Chinese market.
David Osiany, Chief Administrative Secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, said that by exporting fresh avocados to China, Kenya’s foreign exchange earnings will skyrocket and vitality economy of the country would also be freed.
“Exporting fresh avocados to China is a monumental feat that will boost our economy and benefit key players in the avocado value chain, including farmers,” Osiany said.
“This great decision affirms our commitment and our desire to strengthen our friendship and cooperation which aims to improve and strengthen our trade and economic relations existing between our country, Kenya, and our wonderful partner, China,” he said. -he adds.
The export of fresh avocados to China follows the signing in January of two protocols aimed at facilitating bilateral trade, mainly for exports of avocados and aquatic products. The protocols were signed by Kenya’s Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Zhou Pingjian.
Zhang Yijun, Minister Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya who attended the ceremony, said exports of fresh avocados from Kenya to China have huge potential. He said it has only taken six months since the signing of the protocol for more Kenyan products to enter China.
Zhang also expressed appreciation for the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi facilitating the process, and expressed optimism that more avocado growers will participate.
“Kenya is the sixth largest producer in the world and the first in Africa. The demand for avocados from China continues to increase. Kenya’s main season can offset the off-season of other South American countries. So Kenya’s lawyers ask. China is welcoming more and more good quality avocados,” Zhang said.
Sunripe Vertical Agro, an exporter of fresh and frozen agricultural produce in Kenya, hailed the breakthrough to get the fruit to China.
“What we have accomplished as a business community, government and private sector is incredible. China has big cities, first tier cities and populations are phenomenal and that’s where our lawyers are going to go. In each city there are 5 to 11 markets,” said Hasit Shah, the company’s general manager.
Grace Muthoni Karanja, team leader of an avocado farm, agreed saying that Kenyan farmers are very happy to have the opportunity to have a partnership with China as it gives hope to farmers. .
“We are very happy that the Chinese market has opened up, because it means that it gives us hope that it is the right industry,” she said.