Kenyan avocado farmers eye China, India for better earnings amid rising competition in the EU market

The farmers have had to contend with low avocado prices largely due to increased supply from Peru and South Africa.

A four-kilo bag sold for between Sh471.88 and Sh589.85 compared to Sh1,297.67 — Sh1, 533.61 last year.

The low prices hit farmers hard owing to delayed maturity of the crop after the recent heavy rains leading it to coincide with Peru’s.

Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya chief executive Okisegere Ojepa said they are seeking new markets in the Far East and India where the demand is relatively high.

"If the Chinese and the Indian market will open, the issue of the (price) war in the EU will be a thing of the past," he said.

Phytosanitary standards

Past attempts to access the populous Chinese market failed largely on agricultural health concerns.

Mr Ojepa, however, stated that a team of inspectors has been invited to assess Kenya’s compliance with Beijing’s phytosanitary standards.

Head of Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD) Nehemiah Chepkwony said they were planning high-level, government-to-government discussions on opening up the Chinese market for Kenyan fresh produce, including avocados.

Kenya produces an estimated 115,000 metric tons of avocado annually, three-quarters of which end up in expanding export markets.

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