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    Mango export prices up over 5× after Kenya lifts self imposed EU ban

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    By George Munene

    The lifting of a self imposed ban on mango exportation to the European market has led to an increase in the price fetched for the fruit from one to three shilling to Sh15 a piece.

    The eight year ban was imposed by Kenyan authorities to tackle the poor quality of mangoes that were often intercepted by EU custom officials due to fruit flies.

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    The European Union has approved the move after tests conducted showed reduced levels of pest incidence.

    One year after the re-entry of the European Union market, mango demand has risen considerably as farmers had been exclusively exporting to the Middle Eastern market.

    “As the export market reopens farmers should look to work closely with each other and with extension officers to avoid brokers who might want to take advantage of them. With time farmers with medium to large farms will abandon less lucrative crops in favour of mangoes, ” said Runyenjes MP Muchangi Karemba at a field day held for mango farmers at Karurumo, Runyenjes.

    With the end of the ban, mango farmers have reported the fruit’s exporters flocking to their farms. Despite this, stiff export requirements and the prevalence of fruit flies means most Kenyan mango farmers will be excluded from the potential windfall.

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    Farmers in Kenya’s Eastern region; Kitui, Makueni, Machakos, Embu, Meru; are set to be the biggest beneficiaries as the account for 61 per cent of the country’s mango production.

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