There is finally a sense of relief for Kenyan avocado farmers whose exports have resumed with high prices at the market. The fruit had been suspended from export to “safeguard quality.”
“The directorate has been forced to implement stringent rules to safeguard our export market and all avocado varieties have been suspended until further notice… The enforcement of this restriction is to ensure quality products are produced and marketed. Harvesting and export of immature avocado has negatively affected Kenyan image in overseas markets,” the notice to all avocado exporters read.
A 4kg carton will now sell at Sh1,760, a sh660 hike from last seasons Sh1,100.
The first consignment left the country on Saturday for Europe. “The ban has been lifted and we have already started the exports of avocado with the first ship leaving over the weekend,” said CEO of Fresh Producers Consortium of Kenya, Ojepati Okesegere.
Demand for the fruit in the international market slowly rose in the last year by between 50 and 80 pc compared to the previous year with more customers demanding full containers of avocado per month. Mr Okesegere says the prices are only expected to go higher because of the high demand for the Kenyan Fuerte variety.
The ban on export of Hass variety is expected to be lifted mid next month. The export ban for Fuerte variety was effected last November with the initial plan to lift it on March 15. But early this month, after stakeholders reviewed the maturity, the directorate of horticulture announced that the ban would be lifted a month earlier.
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