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Fresh South African Avocados Granted China Market Access

September 04, 2023

On Aug. 28, the General Administration of Customs of China issued an announcement via its website stating that avocados from South Africa meeting the stipulated phytosanitary requirements would be permissible for import into China, thus making South Africa the third African country, following Kenya and Tanzania, to be granted permission to export fresh avocados to China.

South Africa is the largest avocado exporter in Africa, with overseas markets including Europe, the Middle East and other southern African countries. It is forecast that South Africa will export approximately 18 million cartons of avocados this year, an increase of nearly 2 million cartons from last year’s 16.3 million cartons, corresponding to around 10% year-on-year growth.

As indicated by South Africa’s 2023 avocado tree census, commercial avocado orchards now cover approximately 19,500 hectares, with around 800 hectares of new plantings being established each year. The avocado harvesting period in South Africa lasts from February to mid-January, spanning almost the entire year, with February to August being peak season.

According to the GACC announcement, China has identified a total of 15 quarantine pests of concern. These include the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata), mango fruit fly (Ceratitis cosyra), Cape fruit fly (Ceratitis quilicii), Natal fruit fly (Ceratitis rosa), white wax scale (Ceroplastes destructor), fig wax scale (Ceroplastes rusci), Fuller rose beetle (Pantomorus cervinus), long-tailed mealybug (Pseudococcus longispinus), coconut bug (Pseudotheraptus wayi), Egyptian cotton leafworm (Spodoptera littoralis), false codling moth (Thaumatotibia leucotreta), avocado sunblotch viroid and three fungal plant pathogens (Dothiorella aromatica, Neofusicoccum luteum and Pseudocercospora purpurea).

The phytosanitary protocol outlines specific requirements for farms intending to export fresh avocados to China, which include strict adherence to good agricultural practices and integrated pest management techniques.

During the processing and packaging process, avocados destined for China should undergo procedures such as high-pressure water spraying, brushing, hand picking and grading to ensure that they are free from live insects, deformed or inferior fruits, branches, leaves, roots and soil contaminants. The length of the avocado stalks must not exceed 3 millimeters. Additionally, to prevent the potential entry of quarantine pests into China alongside the shipments, avocados intended for the Chinese market must undergo methyl bromide fumigation.

Image: Pixabay

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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