Europe avocado demand to benefit Kenyans until August

Avocado farmers would benefit from the extended export period of the fruit into Europe, a move meant to meet the growing demand after major supplying countries dropped in production.

Leading global fresh produce exporter, Eagle Fruit Alliance, says production in South Africa and Peru dropped due to hostile weather conditions.

The news comes a few days after the Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA) approved commercialisation and export of the fruit starting April until August.

Kenya has two main Hass seasons, with the first one starting in March and ending in July. The second one commences in September extending to February.

The South African company also sources the fruit from Kenya, packs and exports.

Anthony Bothma, an official from the company, says farmers would benefit more following a drop in the shipping costs and their clients has agreed to buy from Kenya until August.

"We just returned from Europe to secure marketing programmes. We are sure that we have a very good season ahead,” he said.

However, suppliers must ensure the produce meets the required maturity standards.

While assuring that a lot has been done to ensure quality produce, he said, Europe would continue consuming Kenyan produce if the first batch proofs to be good.

HCDA had been met with export and packaging stakeholders to discuss quality. The agency also met farmers and enlightened them on the essence of harvesting mature produce for quality.

Packing companies are under scrutiny from HCDA, the official told FreshPlaza, a global produce publication.

HCDA controls horticultural export from Kenya in collaboration with Kenya Plant Inspectorate Service.