South Africa lifts a 10-year ban on Kenya's avocado that saw the East African country lose Sh2.3 billion annually

South Africa banned Kenyan avocados from its market in 2008 saying they could spread fruit flies.

Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services managing director Esther Kimani on Wednesday confirmed that the export market has now been re-opened following long negotiations with South Africa.

To address the matter, Kenya developed a pest management plan which created pest free zones to reduce infestation of the fruit fly.

Inspectors from South Africa have been visiting the county since the ban was put in place to assess the progress that Kenya had made in regard to curbing the fruit fly pest.

Compliance

Under the new deal, avocado exporters are expected to have their farms and pack houses registered with the government agency and audited for compliance in line with the system approach requirement by South Africa.

“Only those exporters approved by Kephis and assigned special codes shall proceed to apply for an import permit,” Ms Kimani said.

Kenya lost about Sh2.3 billion annually during the ban.

The country produces an average of 191,000 tonnes of avocados per year, and is ranked the second largest producer in Africa after South Africa.

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