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Kenyan avocado farmers set to make a killing after China agrees to slash duty by more than half

  • China, which Kenya has been eyeing for decades has agreed to slash the duty levied on Kenyan avocado exports from 30% to 7%.
  • Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo believes the decision which was reached last week will significantly boost farmers’ earnings. 
  • Kenya is banking on even just a hundred million people in China buying Kenyan avocados.

Kenyan farmers growing avocado for export are set to make a killing with their ‘green gold’.

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China, which Kenya has been eyeing for decades has agreed to slash the duty levied on Kenyan avocado exports from 30% to 7% in a move that would position Kenyan avocados favorably and help the make a killing farmers from the lucrative Asian market.

Trade Principal Secretary Dr. Chris Kiptoo says the decision was reached last week following negotiations with the world’s most populous nation.

“China has just agreed to lower the tariffs from 30 percent and this move will benefit our farmers, especially the small-scale holders," said Dr Kiptoo.

Dr Kiptoo hailed the decision and said it would see ordinary Kenyan farmers who want to export produce to the Beijing market benefit from the slashed tariffs.

Kenya is eyeing a slice of the 1.5 billion lucrative market. Getting even just a hundred million people in China buying Kenyan avocado would be a win for Kenya and significantly boost farmers’ earnings the PS said.

Accessing China’s market won’t be a walk in the park however. China has tough handling conditions that will lock out small scale farmers who are the majority.

China wants Kenyan farmers and traders to freeze the fruits to negative 30 degrees after peeling off the skin and chill further to negative 18 degrees while in transit to the destination, meaning that farmers would have to invest heavily on cold rooms to meet the requirement.

Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis), which is overseeing the export of avocados acknowledged the conditions set by China might limit small-scale holders from accessing this market.

"On standards, China wanted us to export frozen avocado as opposed to fresh but negotiations are still going on," Dr. Kiptoo said.

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