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Murang’a farmers urged to take advantage of direct flights to the USA to export avocados

avocato hass

Murang’a County farmers have been urged to take advantage of direct flights to the United States of America set to be launched on 28th October to export their produce to the American market.

“Farmers should take advantage of this new flight route to explore new markets so as to increase their returns,” said Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata who was on a visit to the US a fortnight ago in a bid to identify agricultural marketing opportunities for Kenyan farmers.

Direct flights by Kenya Airways from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport will take about 15 hours non-stop from the current 25 hours, a reduction of 10 hours.

Muran’ga County has approximately 3,0000 farmers who are currently supplying their produce to Kakuzi Company Ltd through more than 60 cooperative societies. In 2017, the farmers sold produce worth Sh19.3m.

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Hass avocado variety. Courtesy

Kenya became the largest exporter of avocados in Africa in 2017 in Africa, exporting a record volume of 51, 507 tons to the world according to statistics by the International Trade Center.

Kenya’s pool of the biggest importers includes 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. The United Kingdom and Spain close the top 7 with volumes that verged on 2,944 and 1,734 tons respectively in 2017.

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 direct flight to USA will therefore open a new frontier market for Kenyan farmers to diversify market destinations.

Avocados contain a wide variety of nutrients including 20 different vitamins and minerals. They are rich in potassium and loaded with healthy fatty acids and can lower cholesterol.

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