The Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service has launched Hass Avocado production in Nyamira County by training more than 500 farmers on terms and standards to adhere to so as to access the local and international markets.
Hass avocado variety is on demand in the international markets with more than 70 per cent market share as world consumers move to adopt healthy eating habits.
This comes at a time when Kenya has overtaken South Africa as the largest exporter of avocados in Africa. Kenya exported a record 51, 507 tons of avocados in 2017 against South Africa’s 43, 492 tons according to the International Trade Center.
The farmers were urged to use certified seeds so as to boost production as statistics by KEPHIS indicate that the informal sector in Kenya accounts for about 60-70 per cent of most seeds planted by farmers across the country. These seeds are usually uncertified therefore denying farmers the chance to maximize yields in their farms.
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Farmers who were trained on the growing and the production of the hass variety at Menyenya SDA High School in Nyamira County. Photo: KEPHIS
Kenya exports avocados to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and more recently, the Russian Federation.
The UAE tops the list with some 12, 041 tons for the 2017 timeline. The second, third, and sixth major export markets for Kenya avocados are all in Europe. The Netherlands leads the pack with 10, 556 tons of the fruit from the 2017 statistics. France is the third biggest importer: its net volume stood at 10, 423 tons in the same year. Saudi Arabia is the country’s fourth importer with some 4, 874 tons worth of imports in 2017.
The Russian Federation currently holds the 5th position in trade volumes that have culminated at 4,171 tons in 2017.
The United Kingdom and Spain close the top 7 with volumes that verged on 2,944 and 1,734 tons respectively in 2017.