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Kenya Suspends Avocado Exports Over Early Harvest Concerns

November 09, 2023

According to local media reports, Kenya’s Horticultural Crops Directorate has suspended the export of Hass, Pinkerton, Fuerte and Jumbo avocados by sea as of Nov. 3. Meanwhile, avocados exported by air or in transit through other East African Community countries must be cleared and inspected by the HCD, with traceability information required for all shipments. At the same time, the Kenyan agricultural regulator has also stepped up its inspections of mango shipments to prevent traders from secretly mixing in avocados.

The temporary export ban aims to prevent the harvesting of unripe avocados, a practice that could both harm the international reputation of Kenyan avocados and result in lower yields due to damage to the fruit trees. The HCD previously imposed a four-month export ban in November 2021 over similar concerns.

To prevent traders from smuggling avocados by hiding them in shipments of mangos, the HCD requires mango exporters to provide the addresses of packing plants. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in revocation of the trader’s license.

Avocados are Kenya’s most important fruit export, followed by pineapples, mangos, raspberries, passion fruit and lemons. The country now boasts an annual avocado production capacity of 417,000 metric tons, with the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, France, Spain, Turkey, China, Germany and the United Kingdom as the main overseas markets.

In recent years, the price of Kenyan avocados has risen on account of increased market demand. In the first six months of 2023, Kenyan agribusiness Kakuzi more than doubled its profit from avocados compared with the same period of last year, jumping from 288.6 million Kenyan shillings ($1.90 million) to 654.8 million shillings ($4.31 million), with this huge growth driven by increased shipments to China and Europe.

Image: Pixabay

This article was based on a Chinese article. Read the original article.

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