Kenya plans to prioritize avocado exports to China in order to boost revenues, a government official said on Friday.
Benjamin Tito, director of Horticultural Crops Directorate told Xinhua in Nairobi that sales to the Asian nation generate high returns to Kenya as they are shipped as frozen hence are value-added.
“China has the capacity to emerge as the largest importer of avocados due to its huge population,” Tito said during the launch of the new office for Bureau Veritas Kenya.
He said that there was a shipment of frozen avocados to China consisting of nine tons in late September.
“We have received a positive response from consumers and therefore local producers are preparing to make another shipment next month,” he observed.
He observed that the country is addressing the threat posed by the false codling moth which is the main pest that affects avocados plants.
“Stakeholders are working together to eliminate the pest in farms through an integrated pest management approach,” Tito added.
He revealed that the government also regulates the opening and closing time for harvesting avocado to avoid premature produce ending up in the market which will dent Kenya’s reputation as a source of quality produce.
Tito said that in order to meet the expected demand from Chinese consumers, cultivation of the fruit has now been expanded beyond central Kenya to other regions such as western Kenya.