Kenya is now free to export avocados to South Africa, after a 11-year ban of the Kenyan fruit export to SA due to pest infestation.
The fruit was banned in 2007, leading to a Ksh2.8 billion revenue loss to both the farmers ang the government.
Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (Kephis) announced yesterday that the ban on avocado by the South African government has now been lifted giving hope to Kenyan farmers. Kephis managing director Esther Kimani said the relief follows long negotiations among stakeholders, easing pain for farmers who have since been grappling with reduced market share since 2007.
“We would like to report that the avocado export market has finally been reopened after long negotiations spearheaded by Kephis and other stakeholders,” Kimani said in the statement.
However, the new business deal signed between the two countries will be on condition that the government (Kenyan) sets measures to curb pest infestation to the fruit.
Export farmers will be required to register their farms and pack houses with government agencies and audited for compliance in line with the system approach requirement by SA.
Kenya exports avocados to the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Netherlands, France, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Spain, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Germany and Hong Kong.
Kenya is ranked third worldwide with a 15 per cent share of the summer European market behind Peru and South Africa.
In 2016, Kenya exported avocados worth Ksh5.4 billion to various export market destination which represented 38,702 tonnes.
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