Global appetite for avocado rises,Kenya takes continental pole position in production

Global appetite for avocado rises,Kenya takes continental pole position in production

Kenya currently ranks among the world’s fastest-growing exporters of avocado even as producers rush to satisfy a growing insatiable craving in China and lately Europe.

In the list of world’s fastest avocado exporters, Colombia is at the top followed at second place by Morroco. Kenya, the only country in East and Central Africa producing avocado, at position three.

A 2019 half-year survey shared at the ongoing World Avocado Congress in Colombia on Tuesday, reports that Kenya has relegated South Africa in terms of production and has taken lead in the continent.

Earlier this year, Kenya and China signed a trade pact that gave nod to the African nation to export avocado to the populous far Asian country. Kenya is also aggressively proving itself as a force to beat even as Europe joins the growing list of avocado craving markets to satisfy.

A survey undertaken in 2018 puts Colombia, Morroco, Kenya and Germany as the fastest growing exporters of the fruit. United Kingdom, Europe and Asia are the biggest markets for avocado.

But that is not enough for Kenya. It is also placed seventh exporting $ 11.8 million in the overall list of leading exporters of avocado in 2018, being the only African representative in the pile.

The list is dominated by Spanish speaking countries, with Mexico raking $2.4 billion, Netherlands ($ 733.8 bn), Peru ($ 722.8 m) in third, Spain ($ 346 m), Chile ($ 323.2 m), the USA ($ 179 m) as before Kenya seals off the top seven having got $ 118 million, which is approximately Ksh 11.8 billion.

The paradigm is on the fast trajectory, Kenya having earned Sh 6.5 billion and Sh 5.2 billion in 2016 and 2015 from avocado exports respectively, according to information from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

Kenya is among the delegates attending the 2019 World Avocado Congress in Medellin, Colombia, as it trains to focus on bidding to host the global event in the year 2023.

Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria is in attendance.

Kenya’s Uasin Gishu County, a region traditionally known as the country’s biggest producer of maize and wheat, is keen to slide into the avocados market. The county government has already given its citizens seedlings in an aggressive push to put at least 1000 acres under avocado.

The reason we are doing this is to uplift the economic status of the people of Uasin Gishu County, there is a market for avocado and that is the place we want to train our focus on,” Governor Jackson Mandago said as he hosted Belarus Ambassador to Kenya, Dimitry Kuptel.

Murang’a County is Kenya’s largest producer of avocado. Uasin Gishu is an upcoming producer, promising a serious trajectory production by the end of next year when the first maturity is realized.

Uasin Gishu County is educating its farmers on the need to diversify agriculture by growing high-value crops with avocado, coffee and macadamia being among them.

Already, the county government of Uasin Gishu has facilitated and overseen an agreement between avocado exporter, Habex Agro, and farmers. The pact ensures that farmers sign a binding contract with the exporter.

“There is already an existing market in the world for avocado and as a county, we are on the right track.”

Our aim as a county government is to offer advice to our people; pieces of advice that will grow their economies for the betterment of all of us,” Deputy Governor and head of Uasin Gishu delegation to Medellin, Daniel Chemno, says.

Chemno adds: “Colombia is among the fastest-growing exporters. Touring avocado farms and learning from a three-day conference will equip us with serious strategies on growing of this fruit.”

Chemno, speaking after touring exhibition stands at the Plaza Mayor, which is the venue for the global congress, said: “We have seen several ways that avocado can be value-added to produce products for the market. Coming here has been our eye-opener and the knowledge gained here will be spent to transform the lives of residents of Uasin Gishu.”

County Executive for Cooperatives Esther Mutai and Agriculture Chief Officer, Julius Rotich, are also among the over 3000 delegates attending the conference in the mountain bracketed City of Medellin.

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