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Tanzania Enters New Phase of Unlocking China’s Avocado Market

January 17, 2024

With Chinese customs authorities now having specified the first three plantations for compliance inspections, Tanzanian avocados are one step closer to achieving China market access. The General Administration of Customs of China will conduct online audits of the selected farms, in the northern regions of Arusha and Kilimanjaro as well as the southern region of Iringa, in March, which coincides with the start of Tanzania’s avocado harvest season.

The Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture stated that the video inspections would cover a number of stages, including harvesting at farms, transportation, cold storage and packaging. Positive results during these first audits are expected to pave the way for other farms to undergo the same process in order to qualify for exporting to China.

The phytosanitary protocol for the export of fresh avocados from Tanzania to China was signed during a visit by President Samia Suluhu Hassan to Beijing on Nov. 2–4, 2022. On Nov. 15 of the same year, the GACC issued a notice stipulating specific requirements for Tanzanian avocado exports, including the registration of farms and packhouses, the identification of pests of concern, and the establishment of storage and packaging guidelines. The only variety so far approved for import into China from Tanzania is Hass.

Tanzania is Africa’s third-largest avocado producer after Kenya and South Africa, whose avocados were granted market access to China in June 2022 and August 2023, respectively. South African growers and exporters are now actively preparing for their first shipments to China, while Kenya has already completed its first year of exports, emerging as a notable supplier with a 6% market share and an impressive export value of $7.647 million in the first three quarters of 2023.

Tanzania currently exports over 20,000 metric tons of avocados annually with a value of approximately $30 million. By 2026, the industry hopes to have boosted annual exports to over 33,000 metric tons, which is expected to bring in close to $50 million in revenue each year. With respect to the opening of the Chinese market and future shipments, the sector is upbeat, citing the strong advantage of a shorter transit time compared with shipments from Peru, China’s main supplier of avocados at present. In addition, Tanzanian authorities reportedly intend to establish a “green channel” to facilitate the export of fresh avocados from farms to the Chinese market.

Image: Pixabay


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